News and Stories - Advocacy - 21st February 2020

Strengthening Australia’s International Development Policy: Our recommendations

Strengthening Australia’s International Development Policy: Our recommendations

For the first time since 2014, the Australian Government is reviewing the country’s International Development Policy.

Why is this important? This is an important review because in many ways, our International Development Policy acts as a guiding light for how Australia engages with the world – and for how we can work together to overcome some of the biggest issues impacting our global community.

This means Australia’s International Development Policy will impact how we – as the charity for girls’ equality – develop our life-changing programs.

As members of the Australian Council For International Development (ACFID), we’re very pleased to have submitted our official recommendations for how this policy could be strengthened over the next ten years. By tracking progress against the Sustainable Development Goals, we hope to see Australia contribute to ending poverty and inequality, promoting peaceful and stable democracies, and addressing the challenges of climate change.

We believe this new policy should be underpinned by the below principles:

  • Children and young people are key partners in delivering long-lasting change.
  • The investment in people and communities is long term and drives generational change.
  • Gender equality and disability inclusion are priorities across the whole of government.

We know that women, girls and people with disabilities face exclusion, violence and discrimination everywhere – in their homes, at school and in public places. One in three women around the world have experienced gender-based violence. And women and girls with disabilities are more likely to be denied access to education and sexual and reproductive health services. That’s why Australia’s international development policy must leave no one behind.

If we’re to overcome some of the biggest global challenges we’re facing today – poverty, inequality and climate change – this new policy needs to be ambitious and progressive. And here are our recommendations for how this policy could achieve this:

  • Promote peace and security in the Indo-Pacific
  • Combat climate change by supporting young people
  • Strengthen our partnerships with children and young people
  • Take a long-term, generational approach to tackling gender inequality
  • Build and strengthen Australia’s humanitarian programming

We know how valued Australia is as a trusted development partner. We forge deep and enduring partnerships with communities as well as local, regional, and national decision-makers. And these partnerships play an important role in growing Australia’s strategic influence in the region. We work at all levels of society and focus on addressing the root causes of poverty, violence and gender inequality.

This is why we believe that the impact of our programs could be even greater with the certainty of multi-year funding – so we can make the world a fairer, more equal one for everyone.

We’d also like to say a massive thank you the hundreds of supporters who made submissions and recommendations to the review! Your voice matters – because how Australia engages with the world matters.

You can read our full submission and recommendations for Australia’s International Development policy here and one page summary here.

And you can read Plan International Youth Activist, Varsha Krithivasan’s submission here.

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