Micah Challenge Australia Blog

 

The Micah Challenge blog is a space for discussion and debate about the issues of global poverty, faith, advocacy and justice and the Millennium Development Goals. This blog aims to provoke thought and challenge you to learn more about the issues discussed. We welcome your comments.

Micah Challenge is a global campaign of Christians speaking out against poverty and injustice. Click here to visit the Micah Challenge website.

  • Why we 'like' the aid advisors review.

    Posted by Ben

    31 January, 2012

    AusAID's recently completed Aid Advisor Review just barely made a dent in a media landscape dominated by cricketing comebacks, tennis marathons, lost Prime Ministerial shoes and the like, but it's a small, good thing, and another step in the right direction for Australia's aid program. Advisors can be tremendous for building capacity, transferring skills and knowledge, and filling critical human resource gaps in developing countries. However, as previously discussed on this blog, they can be pricey and it's not always the most cost-effective way, or the most strategic way to build national ownership for development priorities and deliver results that help the poor. Continuing to reduce our reliance on advisors and contractors to deliver our aid program is a good way to manage a growing aid budget well and build on trends towards greater partner country ownership of agreed development priorities. Australia still has more to do in meeting our commitment to lifting aid to 0.5% of national income by 2015 (let alone setting a timetable to meet our… read more

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  • The trouble with politics

    Posted by Amanda

    24 November, 2011

    The trouble is that politicians are always looking to the next poll, the next election, the next emergency solution rather than making brave long-term and sustainable decisions. It’s often called the 'Eisenhower Principle' after his saying: "What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important." So earlier this month in Cannes, when leaders of all the major economies in the world gathered for the G20, short-term interventions to fix the urgent Eurozone crisis sucked the air and media attention from innovative important ideas. Greece, a nation of 11 million people, has managed to distract and frustrate G20 leaders. I wonder if other nations of 11 million outside Europe would have the same ability to attract bailout money of €200 billion / AU$275 billion (this is the total promised by the 2010 bailout and the latest package). Chad, Guinea and Tunisia all have a similar population but their poverty, their debt and their challenges go largely ignored. Haiti, a country with a population about the same as that of… read more

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  • Just the way it's always been

    Posted by Amanda

    31 October, 2011

    Leaders of the biggest economies in the world will meet in France later this week to discuss (and try to resolve) some big financial issues. The G20 will bring together leaders from 19 nations (plus the EU) who together represent 90% of the world’s GDP, 80% of the world’s trade and 66% of the world’s population. Fears about the health of the U.S. and European economies will inevitably be at the top of the political and media agenda. Of course, private meetings between bureaucrats and Ministers have been going on for months now to decide what the leaders will agree when they jet into Cannes. And in that lengthy process of negotiation and compromise, ideals inevitably get watered down – it’s a matter of what can be achieved much more than what should be achieved. In the 2005 film, “The Girl in the Café”, about an imaginary G20-type meeting, Lawrence, a consummate bureaucrat confesses, “We get into the habit of compromising and therefore we are always compromised.” President Sarkozy, who will… read more

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  • Voices for Justice 2011

    Posted by Micah

    18 September, 2011

    Participant Josh, reflects on the purpose of Voices for Justice and why he's back again this year... This weekend I'm heading down to Canberra. It's not for a leisurely holiday (although I have recently come to really like Canberra as a holiday destination!), but rather to attend The Micah Challenge's Voices for Justice conference. Basically, the whole idea for the conference is that a bunch of Christians from all around Australia descend on Canberra once a year in order to lobby our Federal political representatives in regards to acting on reducing global poverty. We hold them accountable to their bilateral agreement to the U.N. "Millennium Development Goals" (of halving world poverty by 2015), and also spend time learning more deeply about issues of justice and poverty. I like the work of The Micah Challenge generally, but I really love this conference for a couple of reasons: Firstly, it's not just another Christian conference where everyone gets together for the sole purpose of feeling good about themselves and to get motivated for the period of time until… read more

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