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Helping Australia to work smarter in overseas aid: The Launch of the Research for Development Impact Network

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In the context of a significantly reduced aid budget, improving and streamlining access to knowledge, ideas and existing research will play a key role in supporting smarter, more effective and responsive aid investments.

“Australia has an official aid program of $4 billion and the Australian NGOs raise around $1.7 billion annually. Taken together, Australia’s total overseas investments in poverty reduction are occurring in over 90 countries around the world. Research is crucial to ensuring these investments have lasting impact and are adapting to changing contexts”, commented Mr Marc Purcell, CEO of Australian Council for International Development (ACFID).

“The new Research for Development Impact (RDI) Network, provides a unique and effective means to enable cross-sectoral sharing of ideas, innovation and better quality evidence coming to policy makers from Australian universities, Australian NGOs and other development practitioners,” said Mr Purcell.

“We congratulate the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on being a part of this cross-sector partnership. Resourcing this Network is helping them to realise their goal of working more effectively in the aid space”, said Mr Purcell.

Co-chair of the RDI Network, Associate Professor Juliet Willetts commented, “There’s no doubt the RDI Network will prove to be an invaluable support for the aid and development sector in continuing to advance sector thinking and innovation.”

“The complexity of humanitarian and international development work is such that all expertise available needs to be harnessed in order to eradicate extreme poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.”

“The Network will be at the forefront of championing the links between research, policy and practice, as well as helping to translate research into more accessible products for policy makers and practitioners,” said Associate Professor Willetts.

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