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.
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.
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.”
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.’
Should more Australian development NGOs be merging to increase revenue and reduce competition? Ashlee Betteridge and Stephen Howes discuss.
A blog post based on my participation in a panel at ANU Asia-Pacific Week 2016.
“…in development, it is important to recognise that digital disruption presents both challenges and opportunities. And like any part of development practice, it needs to be well-handled to see positive results.”
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.
Ashlee summarised and assessed a recent evaluation of PNG’s family and sexual violence policing units on the Devpolicy Blog.
Above all else, this evaluation shows that if FSVUs are to achieve better outcomes for survivors, they need more respect and more resources. They will also do better as part of an ecosystem of service providers working together to support each other and their clients.
Ashlee analysed a recent evaluation of the impact of Australia Award scholarships on women’s leadership in developing countries. While overall, she felt the evaluation was positive, she highlighted gaps in the analysis and in the use of tracer studies of former scholarship recipients.
The tracer studies, as interpreted by this evaluation, allow measurement of leadership in three main ways: whether the individual was promoted on return from their scholarship; whether they had increased responsibilities; and whether they were transferring skills to others through formal or informal channels.
This is leadership narrowly defined—it does little to tell us about women’s true influence or power (recent ODI research shows this does not necessarily go hand and hand with increasing access to higher positions), and it doesn’t venture beyond career development markers to look at women’s leadership in a broader, contextual sense.