Thursday 02 Jul 2020 | 22:58 | SYDNEY
Thursday 02 Jul 2020 | 22:58 | SYDNEY

Australia and its commitment to development


Fergus Hanson


10 December 2008 14:52

I've just caught up with the Centre for Global Development's annual Commitment to Development Index which aims to assess 'rich countries’ policies to build prosperity around the world' and has some interesting findings on Australia.

While we still have a relatively low net aid volume, we have the second largest amount of private charitable giving as a percentage of GDP (Ireland came in first and the US sixth). And we rank third by GDP for 'financial and personnel contributions to internationally sanctioned peacekeeping and humanitarian interventions' over the last decade. 

The index takes a range of factors into account including aid, trade, investment, migration, the environment, security and technology and overall Australia ranked seventh (the Netherlands topped the list for the fourth year in a row). Australia's rank was attributed to:

...its leading role in peacekeeping efforts, low trade barriers against developing country exports, and policies that promote productive investment in poor countries. On the negative side, Australia gives only a small share of its income in foreign aid and has the highest greenhouse gas emissions rate per person.

There would seem to be limits to what we can read into these indexes though. In the Centre's own words:

According to the 2008 Commitment to Development Index (CDI), the United States does worse than nearly all of Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in promoting global prosperity.  

That seems like an unlikely fact, unless we are counting the fall-out from the credit crisis.