Making connections for tomorrow

Dr Michelle Dunn explains the important role universities can play in developing and implementing effective aid programs in the Indo-Pacific region, while empowering communities and governments at all levels.

Influencing Australian aid programming in the Indo-Pacific

Every time I travel to the Indo-Pacific region, I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I am proud to be managing aid programs funded by agencies such as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), which aim to improve the social and economic prosperity of our regional neighbours. On the other hand, I am torn by the ongoing, deeply entrenched challenges that many communities face, despite the assistance that governments receive in the form of aid funding.

I found that the issues my research engages with – such as increasing insecurity and violence against women, women’s under-representation in decision-making and leadership roles, governance structures struggling to emulate Western ideals, and the widening gap between urban and rural opportunities and access to basic needs in terms of justice and services – were closely mirrored in the Indo-Pacific context.

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Last updated:
15 October 2020