Australia's role as an overseas development assistance provider has been a hot media topic this week:

  • An article in the Sydney Morning Herald critiques the way AusAID designs and implements aid programs.
  • Crikey is undertaking an entire series titled 'Who profits from our foreign aid?'
  • Steve Lewis strikes again, with more than a sprinkle of hyperbole, unleashing another piece slamming Australia's aid program. Steve's articles would benefit from taking stock of the realities and challenges involved in implementing aid programs in developing countries that only have access to very limited resources – success is not guaranteed, as discussed here and here.
  • While Australia and PNG take a positive step and sign agreements to review Australia's $450 million aid program to PNG, it is important to note what isn't being said on the state of affairs in PNG.
  • The Australian newspaper argues that it is time to challenge the 'virtuous aura around aid' and that the Australian general public should be better informed in this area.

With our mainstream media now commenting regularly on Australia's overseas development assistance and often highlighting only faults and inadequacies, isn't it time the Australian Government, through AusAID, made a greater effort to promote the success stories and engage the Australian public, considering it is set to fund Australia's increasing aid budget?