Multimillion dollar gift for ANU Development Policy Centre

22 November 2012

In one of the most significant gifts ever given to ANU, the Harold Mitchell Foundation today announced $2.5 million in funding for the Development Policy Centre in the Crawford School of Public Policy.

Established in 2010, the Centre is Australia’s first independent think tank to promote research and discussion on key issues such as aid effectiveness, economic development in the Pacific and PNG, and other development policies.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young said the generous gift from the Harold Mitchell Foundation would allow the Centre to continue its important work, and announced that the University would match the gift, bringing the total value of support the Centre is receiving to $5 million.

“In the two years since its establishment, the Development Policy Centre has grown significantly. The philanthropy of the Harold Mitchell Foundation will help sustain this growth,” Professor Young said.

“The Centre is generating expertise, knowledge and new ideas on aid and development policy. The University is committed to enhancing public policy and the Centre is making an important contribution to achieving this objective.”

Launched in 2000, the Harold Mitchell Foundation funds programs in health, education and the arts that make a positive and sustainable difference in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.

Founder Harold Mitchell AC said: “I am a great supporter of the Australian aid program and I see this funding as an important contribution to supporting accountability and transparency, which are major priorities for AusAID”.

Development Policy Centre Director, Professor Stephen Howes, said the funding will support the Centre’s core functions of research and encouraging public discussion.

“With the rapid expansion of the Australian Government’s aid budget, it is critical that there be more public debate and discussion of how those funds can be best used,” said Professor Howes.

The funding will also support the establishment of a new annual public lecture series, with the inaugural Harold Mitchell Development Policy Lecture delivered by the Finance Minister of Timor-Leste, Emilia Pires, today.

Read more about Professor Howes and the Development Policy Centre's work at the College's news website. Watch a video of Professor Howes discussing his work and how to improve Ausrtralian aid effectiveness at ANU channel on YouTube.

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