Monday 27 Jun 2022 | 03:20 | SYDNEY
People | experts Annmaree O’Keeffe
Nonresident Fellow
Lowy Institute, Pacific Islands Program
Areas of ExpertisePacific and PNG; international development assistance; international health challenges; global issues impacting on indigenous peoples

Aid cut: A story of two bad policies

It's a blue moon occasion for Australia's foreign aid program to be the lead story across the morning news media. But bad policy decided in secret and then leaked to the media can ensure front page headlines, even for aid. And that's what has happened this week with the Government's decision to

Our foreign aid always interest-based

Judging from the tone of the current Interpreter debate on aid and development, it seems that the notion of a country's aid program doing double duty by meeting both humanitarian and national interest goals is an impossibility for some.  Hugh White wants clarity about what Australia's aid

As Asia booms, what of Australia aid?

There's a little sentence in the Asian Century White Paper that could have a big impact on Australia's aid program. It reads: By 2025, four of the 10 largest economies in the world will be in the region – China (first), India (third), Japan (fourth) and Indonesia (tenth). We hear a lot about

Fiji: Optimism takes a blow

It's a trying time for Fiji's optimists. Just when you think a corner has been turned on the slow road back to democracy in Fiji, a rock comes crashing down to stall the pace. That's what happened this week when the Fijian interim government expelled a visiting team from the UN's International

Bilateral donors in the Pacific: is it more than development?

Acting Director for the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program, Annmaree O’Keeffe, spoke at the Club de Madrid’s Asia Pacific Forum held in Tahiti on July 7 2012. Her address looked at the increased level of aid being invested in the Pacific and asked the question whether this was a competition

Pacific islands: It about the women

The statistics reflecting the depth of gender inequality across the Pacific are tragic, deplorable and breathtaking. Amnesty International has described the level and frequency of violence against women in the Pacific as one of the gravest human rights violations in the region. According to UN

US and China meet in South Pacific

The Cook Islands, a tiny Pacific nation of 10,000 and recipient of significant Chinese aid, is the host of this year's annual Pacific Islands Forum, which starts on Monday 27 August. The meeting's official theme is Large Ocean Island States – the Pacific Challenge. But the real challenge for the

Two steps forward for Fiji relations

First came the positive murmurings out of the May meeting of the Pacific Island Forum's Ministerial Contact Group on Fiji. The ministers, including our own Bob Carr, were encouraged by the changes they saw in Fiji. Now, just three months later, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand have reached a

PNG: The counting continues

With counting underway to determine who will be the 111 winners in PNG's national elections, what was predicted to be an excessively violent poll has so far turned out to be relatively smooth. There have been exceptions, notably in the highlands where there were early reports of gunfights at polling

PNG elections: Violence looms

You've got to hand it to PNG's politicians. They don't disappoint in their ongoing effort to live by the country's unofficial motto: the land of the unexpected. The political process has at times descended into farce and confusion, and the nastiness of this ongoing battle has come at a

Budget harms our 'aid predictability'

Much has already been said and shouted in the wake of the Government's budget announcement last week that it was reneging on its promise to increase Australia's foreign aid budget to 0.5% of Australia's gross national income by 2015-2016. But an important aid document also released by the

Fiji: At last, a positive note

Despite some public sniping between Fiji's acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum and Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr at the start of this week's meeting between the Pacific Island Forum's Ministerial Contact Group on Fiji and senior members of the Fijian regime, the outcome of the

Aid essential for regional stability

In an opinion piece in The Australian, Annmaree O’Keeffe, acting director of the Lowy Institute's Myer Foundation Melanesia Program, asks whether Australia can afford to continue increasing its aid budget. In the leadup to the 2012 Federal Budget, rumours have surfaced about the Gillard

Are the knives out for the aid budget?

Will the Gillard Government stick by its commitment to increase the aid budget to 0.5% of Australia's gross national income by 2015/2016? That's the question being asked as rumours and leaks gather momentum in the lead-up to Budget night on 10 May. In an interview with the 7.30 Report's Chris

Nothing new under the PNG sun

PNG is once again going through a governance-sapping exercise of self-interested politics. Since February last year, when then Prime Minister Somare was suspended from office for two weeks following a decision by the country's Leadership Tribunal, Papua New Guineans have witnessed an increasingly

Foreign aid advice for the new minister

Kevin Rudd's resignation as Australia's Foreign Minister gives the Gillard Government a timely opportunity to look anew at Australia's foreign aid program. Ever since Rudd, as Opposition Leader, made the election promise in 2007 that Australia's aid program would reach 0.5% of Australia's gross

Busan: A good result for Australia

As the last of the cleaners leave the Busan auditorium, which last week accommodated a record-breaking crowd of 3000 attending the fourth international high level forum on aid effectiveness, the big question being kicked around by development wonks now is, 'Was it worth it?' As I explained in my

Australia Network: Messy, slow, right

It's taken twelve months, a ministerial traducing, an AFP investigation and a referral to the Auditor-General but the Gillard Government has finally decided that the rightful and permanent home for the government-funded international television service, the Australia Network, is within the

5-minute Lowy lunch: Future aid

Last week's Wednesday Lowy Lecture guest was John McArthur, Senior Advisor and until recently CEO of Millennium Promise, the leading international NGO committed to supporting the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). You can hear John's full speech to the Lowy Institute

A cheat guide to the Busan conference

This time next week, over 2000 delegates representing the developed world's aid agencies, the developing world's planning departments, the globe's international development agencies and non-government organisations, emerging donors including China, Brazil and India, and a handful of influential

Australian NGOs: Less begging, more busking

It's not often that public organisations invite criticism. But ACFID — the umbrella group which tries to bring together under one very broad roof Australia's collection of international non-government development organisations – did just that. At its annual conference in Canberra a

Lowy Lecture Series: How the future state of the world will shape Australia aid program - Panellists' presentations

At the Lowy Lecture Series on 20 July, a high-level panel, with Sandy Hollway AO, Jack De Groot and Rowan Callick, considered how well Australia's aid program is placed to respond to evolving development challenges. Annmaree O'Keeffe, Research Fellow at the Lowy Institute, chaired the discussion

The future state of the world: what it means for Australia foreign aid program

In January 2011, the Australian Government’s Independent Panel to Review Aid commissioned the Lowy Institute to undertake a study of the future state of the world and its potential impact on the government’s aid program. The report, written against the background of a strong focus by the

Aid sector all go but no direction

In an opinion piece in The Australian, Lowy Institute Research Fellow Annmaree O'Keeffe takes a critical look at the winners and losers in last week’s increased foreign aid budget. While supporting the government’s commitment to increase the aid budget, she asks where is the strategy to guide

Wednesday Lunch at Lowy: 2011 The year ahead - Lowy Institute presentations

On 2 February, the second half of the Wednesday Lunch series was launched with a discussion by three Lowy Institute scholars, Rory Medcalf, Annmaree O'Keeffe and Sam Roggeveen, on how Australia should be preparing for some of the big global and regional policy challenges in the second decade of the

Lowy Institute Panel Discussion

As a follow-up to the Lowy Institute MDG conference held in Sydney in June and the recent UN MDG summit in New York, the Lowy Institute, through The Myer Foundation Melanesia Program, convened a special panel of diverse commentators and experts from government and non-government sectors to tackle

Aid program is healthy but in need of a plan

In an opinion piece in The Australian, Lowy Institute Research Fellow Annmaree O'Keeffe writes that Australian aid dollars are reaching a greater range of countries around the world.The Australian, 20 September 2010, p. 10

International broadcasting and its contribution to public diplomacy

International broadcasting is one of the principal means of presenting a country’s perspective, views and values to foreign publics and their leaders, and a fundamental component of a nation’s public diplomacy. This study surveyed the international broadcasting operations of ten major