Ashlee summarised the views of the likely members of the Senate crossbench on Australian aid, climate change and refugees following the July 2016 Federal Election.
(Photo credit: The Skewer)
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.
Ashlee participated in a panel event at the University of Melbourne on 19 November 2015, hosted by the Australian Red Cross, to debate the merits of international volunteering.
The event was titled ‘Dispelling the White Knight Complex’. Panellists included: Marc Purcell, ACFID; Peter Devereux, Curtin University; Ashlee Betteridge, Development Policy Centre; and Chrisanta Muli, Oxfam Australia. The event was chaired by broadcaster Tracee Hutchison.
With Stephen Howes, Ashlee analysed the World Bank’s Remittance Prices Worldwide database to show that, despite efforts by government in Australia and NZ, the cost of sending remittances to Pacific island countries had not decreased in more than two years.
Ashlee also gave two radio interviews on the findings of the research.
Ashlee interviewed Dr Linda van Leeuwen on the role of the private sector in combatting and responding to family and sexual violence in Papua New Guinea.
Something that I would really like resource companies to do is to actually reconceptualise gender violence, not just as a community problem or a law and order problem, or a private matter to be dealt with away from the workplace, but as a workplace safety issue.Linda van Leeuwen
In a fun take on gender in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, now known as The Global Goals), Ashlee draws inspiration from a Beyoncé song to analyse the feminist credentials of the goals.
The verdict? The goals are feminist, but not flawless. And there is much work to do if they are to achieve their ambitions on gender equality.
On the Devpolicy Blog, Ashlee reviews a new book by ANU academic Patrick Kilby on the history of the Australian Council for International Development.
Ashlee analysed the impact of the 30 per cent cut to the Australian Volunteers for International Development in the 2015 Federal Budget on the Devpolicy Blog.
In an analysis piece, she looked at what the cut could mean for the future of the program.
“Consolidation seems to be the only logical step. But even then, hard decisions will be needed: fewer volunteers to Asia or fewer to the Pacific? If cost is the criterion – and it is hard to see why it wouldn’t be – the Pacific is bound to lose out.”
Ashlee also covered updates on the program post-budget on the blog–see below.
Ashlee Betteridge and Stephen Howes review the Office of Development Effectiveness Evaluation on women’s economic empowerment and Australian aid.
One confusion this report gives important insight on, though doesn’t resolve, is in relation to the gender target for projects. The Minister’s speech says that 80 per cent of projects should be “focused on support and empowerment of women” (and that “all” should “address gender issues”). If that’s the case, the aid program is in trouble. The report reveals that only 55 per cent of aid projects have gender as a significant or principal objective. The other 45 per cent are not focused on gender equality.