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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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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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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

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Scholarships and women’s leadership: power, privilege and measurement

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.

Read the full blog post here.