As Asia is transformed through strong economic growth and rising incomes, AusAID is changing the way it does business. There are millions of poor people in Asia but many now live in fast-growing, middle-income countries. AusAID is finding ways to leverage the successes of these emerging economies to help the poor. We are moving away from direct service delivery in some developing countries to longer-term, strategic assistance that shapes policy-making, empowers the poor and spends Australian aid money more efficiently. This supports social cohesion and builds stronger foundations for continued economic development. Our governance and public financial management programs in Indonesia and the Philippines, for example, help countries to use their own resources more effectively. Australia is good at building sturdy institutions at home. It makes sense that we help our neighbours to strengthen their institutions – and this is an effective way to ensure Australia’s future Asian relations and prosperity.
PETER BAXTER was appointed the Director General of AusAID in May 2010. He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1988, has served in several overseas missions, and previously headed DFAT’s Consular, Public Diplomacy and Parliamentary Affairs Division.