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.

  • Australian Business Leaders: Keep Foreign Aid Promise

    Posted by Micah

    6 May, 2013

    Over 35 senior Australian business leaders are calling on the government to keep its promises on foreign aid in an open letter published by the Australian Financial Review today. Signatories to the letter (see below) include business leaders from Qantas, Macquarie Bank, PwC, IKEA and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. One of those behind the initiative is Simon McKeon, the executive chairman of Macquarie Group and a former Australian of the year. In his interview with ABC News, he said: “We are in a region where essentially all of our near neighbours are developing countries. And certainly from the business world we appreciate as much as anyone how important it is to have a good and prosperous region…What this group of business people is saying today is that foreign aid is important.” Click here to join with these business leaders and make your voice heard by the Prime Minister and Treasurer in the lead up to the federal budget. read more

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  • What will Mr. Rudd's resignation mean for the poor?

    Posted by John

    23 February, 2012

    My answer to the question posed in the title of this blog is simple – I don’t know yet. The obvious reaction to Mr. Rudd’s announcement for us here in the Micah Challenge office is to get focused on what this will mean for the campaign. How should we respond? What strategies should we develop to ensure Australia’s commitments to the world's poorest people are maintained and strengthened? I was in that space this morning when I read something from a Pastor friend of mine who said this on Facebook: ‘"@twitter reveals the dysfunctional heart of Aussies in response to the crisis. A better response? Pray with me 4 @JuliaGillard & @KRuddMP" It was a timely reminder for me. The focus for Micah Challenge this week has been our PrayACT campaign. We have been encouraging people to focus on prayer as the primary action we should take as Christian advocates for the poor. No doubt we will also spend time over the coming days, weeks and months thinking about how we can best use our voices on behalf of the poor in this… read more

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  • 50% of mums saved in Ethiopia

    Posted by John

    2 February, 2012

    [Australian Aid] "will increase the number of trained midwives from 2002 to 8635, and increase the number of deliveries attended by skilled birth attendants from 18 to 62 per cent.” - Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon Kevin Rudd MP, 26 January 2012. You could feel the buzz of excitement in the Micah Challenge Australia office last year when the Government’s response to the aid review boldly proclaimed that “saving the lives of poor women and children through greater access to quality maternal and child health services” would be a key development objective. This statement was coupled with positive rumblings from Mr Rudd’s office and from the halls of AusAID about the priority of health spending, which came partly in response to our calls for 20% of all aid dollars to be directed to this vital area. But the buzz of excitement was coupled with frustration. In the process of analysing the aid budget, it became clear that the rhetoric about health being a growing priority didn’t seem to match the reality. Far from seeing a… read more

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  • 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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