Hi, I’m Ashlee.

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Welcome to my online portfolio.

I am an experienced writer, communicator and manager with a strong interest in international aid and development policy and the Asia-Pacific region.

I currently work as the Program Manager (Research Communications and Outreach) with the Development Policy Centre at The Australian National University in Canberra. Prior to moving into the centre management role I was a Research Officer with the centre for four years. I also provide communications support to the PNG NGO Femili PNG, which works with survivors of family and sexual violence.

I am also a board member at NTA East Indonesia Aid.

Previously, I have worked with Plan International in Timor-Leste, the Center for International Forestry Research in Indonesia and Media Monitors, as well as in a variety of other freelance writing and editing roles.

As a journalist and editor, I worked at the Jakarta Globe from 2008-2010 and for News Ltd community newspapers and the Courier News group in Sydney from 2005-2008. My writing, analysis and reportage has also been published in many other places.

I finished a Master of Public Policy (Development Policy) at ANU in 2011, which included a semester at the American University School of International Service in Washington DC. I also have a Bachelor of Arts in Communications (Journalism) from the University of Technology, Sydney.

You can read more about my work and professional background, or you can just browse through my portfolio–expand the menu by clicking in the top left corner.

 

View my CV  Contact me

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Policy brief — Communication post-integration: reloading Australia’s efforts

In August 2016, Ashlee authored a Development Policy Centre policy brief titled ‘Communication post-integration: reloading Australia’s efforts’. The brief looked at why it is important to invest in aid communication, with a focus on web and social media, and gave suggestions for how DFAT can do better. It included qualitative and quantitative analysis of aid communication on the DFAT website and on Twitter, and compared DFAT’s efforts with those of other aid donors.

Download the policy brief [PDF].

Three part blog series
The need to resurrect aid communication efforts
Australian aid communications by the numbers
DFAT and aid communications: how to improve

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Communications for protection: a three-minute aid pitch

At the 2017 Australasian Aid Conference, a plenary session called ‘The three-minute aid pitch’ put nine proposals head to head, with the audience voting for their favourite.

Out of the nine competitors, Ashlee won with a third of the audience vote with her pitch on the importance of improving communications on the aid program, particularly in the age of Trump.

You can watch the video of her pitch here, or read the blog post based on the presentation.

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Outsourced labour: international surrogacy and women’s rights

Ashlee Betteridge writes on international surrogacy, and whether commercial surrogacy in a poor, developing country can ever be a fair or acceptable option.

“…the voice that we perhaps most need to hear in this debate is the voice of women who work as surrogates. As governments scramble for answers, both in developed and developing countries, it is this voice that is missing from policy debates.”

Read the full post.

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Australian Aid Tracker

Launched in January 2016, the Australian Aid Tracker website draws on a range of data and Devpolicy analysis, and uses a variety of visualisation and charting tools to help bring the numbers on Australian aid to life. It’s an independent, user-friendly and up-to-date look at Australian aid.

Ashlee Betteridge created and built the aid tracker site, with support from colleagues (particularly Terence Wood).

The aid tracker had a hugely positive response, attracting interest from media, aid stakeholders and the general public. It was widely shared on social media on its launch.

Related Devpolicy Blog posts:

Introducing the Australian Aid Tracker by Ashlee Betteridge
Is Australia a humanitarian scrooge? By Ashlee Betteridge
The rise of global aid in 2015, and the fall of Australia by Robin Davies and Ashlee Betteridge

Multimedia:

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Media coverage:

New independent ‘Tracker’ website for Aussie Aid, Radio Australia, 27 January.
Australian Aid Tracker Shows PNG And Indonesia Receive Most Funds But Pot Is Getting Smaller, Huffington Post, 27 January.
New ANU website tracks changes to Australian Aid, ANU, 28 January.
Devpolicy launches Australian aid tracker, Crawford School, 27 January.

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Tweet from the Vice Chancellor of the Australian National University.

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Global Gag Plus, family planning and Australian aid

Ashlee Betteridge and Camilla Burkot write on the US decision to reinstate the Global Gag Rule, and urge Australia not to follow suit.

‘Australia must stay strong and stick to the current family planning guidelines that put women’s empowerment at the forefront. It should also consider increasing the percentage of aid spending that goes towards family planning and sexual and reproductive health to fill the vacuum that will be left as US aid-funded programs are forced to end. Since the Global Gag Plus executive order was signed, the Dutch government has announced the establishment of a global abortion fund to help fill the gap, for which Belgium has indicated its support and Canada has also expressed interest. Perhaps this is an initiative that Australia too should consider supporting.’

Read the full blog.

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Wonder Women aren’t (just) the stuff of fiction

Camilla Burkot and Ashlee Betteridge discuss the UN appointment of Wonder Woman as an ambassador for gender equality.

‘Why celebrate a cartoon character when there are so many real life women heroes (or, should we say, sheroes)? And why resort to tokenism via an online mascot when there are so many avenues for real and meaningful change left for the UN to pursue, both within its own halls and in the wider world?

It’s 2016. Gender equality shouldn’t need to draw on fictional characters to find a message. If Wonder Woman can attract some attention to gender equality among the noise (and abuse) online, perhaps that’s OK, but the real women of the real world need real power — not just a superhuman mascot to cheer for them.’

Read the full blog.

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No orphanages, or just ‘good’ ones? Books and controversies from Cambodia’s Australian orphanage doyennes

Australians have a lot to answer for when it comes to Cambodia’s ‘orphanage problem’, being among the most involved in visiting them as tourists, starting them up and financially supporting them. They’ve also been behind some that have been shut down in recent years. So it is no surprise that knee-deep in this debate around the future of residential care in Cambodia are two high-profile Australians who have started orphanages, but who are now changing tack – one more willingly than the other.

Ashlee writes on Cambodia’s orphanage problem, the push to end residential care, and a new book by a high-profile Australian who has changed her view on the orphanage model.

>> Read the blog