General information on development cooperation

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is the Australian Government department responsible for managing Australia’s overseas development cooperation.

The fundamental purpose of Australian aid is to promote Australia’s national interests by contributing to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. Australia focuses its development efforts in areas where it can make a difference, and where its resources can most effectively and efficiently be deployed.

DFAT provides advice and support on development policy, and plans and coordinates poverty reduction activities in partnership with developing countries. DFAT leads and coordinates Australia’s responses to humanitarian disasters and represents Australia in international development forums.

Australia’s aid programme focuses on the Indo-Pacific region – it is internationally recognized for the leading role in the region, particularly in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific. Australia also provides assistance to Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Aid for Trade Strategy

The Strategy for Australia’s Aid for Trade Investments, launched on 1 July 2015, articulates how aid for trade supports the aid programme’s key objectives of reducing poverty and lifting living standards through sustainable economic growth. It encourages innovation, including by partnering with the private sector and promoting market-based solutions.

The Strategy establishes a framework for future Australian aid for trade investments to ensure they are well-planned and effective, meet the needs of the developing country partners, are conducted with the right partners, and aligned with Australian interests.

The Strategy encourages innovation in aid for trade investments, including by partnering with the private sector and promoting market-based solutions. It provides clarity about how Australia’s aid for trade investments can be more effective in helping developing countries reduce poverty.

The Australian Government has set an aid for trade target of 20 per cent of the total aid budget by 2020, which is consistent with the level of similar investment by other key donors and the increasing demand from developing countries, especially in the Pacific.

Australia’s priority areas for aid for trade investments include:

  • trade and investment policy and trade facilitation

  • global value chains

  • infrastructure

  • private sector development

  • economic empowerment of women

  • knowledge and skills development

  • agriculture

  • services

The Strategy will be reviewed and updated periodically, taking into account implementation experiences and lessons learned.


Principal official agency responsible for TCB assistance to developing countries

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Contact details

Tel: +61 2 6217 0500

Fax: +61 2 6217 0501

Physical Address
38 Thynne Street
Fern Hill Park
Bruce Act 2617

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is an Australian Government statutory authority that operates as part of Australia’s aid programme within the portfolio of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It contributes to the aid programme objectives of advancing Australia’s national interest through poverty reduction and sustainable development. ACIAR funds research projects that are developed within a framework that reflects the priorities of Australia’s aid programme and national research strengths together with the agricultural research and development priorities of partner countries in five regions: Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, North Asia, South Asia and Southern Africa.

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Contact details

Tel: +61 2 6261 1111

Fax: +61 2 6261 3111

Physical Address
Head Office: R.G. Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
Barton ACT 0221 Australia
IP Australia
Physical Address
47 Bowes Street
Phillip ACT 2606 

IP Australia administers Australia’s intellectual property (IP) rights system, specifically patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeders’ rights. It incorporates the Patent, Designs, Trade Marks and Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) Offices and is a prescribed agency within the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR). IP Australia is engaged in development cooperation activities with a range of developing country IP Offices.

Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ)
Contact details

Tel: +61 2 6232 2000

Fax: +61 2 6262 7980

Email: contact [at] jas-anz.org

Physical Address
4 Phipps Close, Deakin, ACT 2600

The Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) is the Government-appointed accreditation body for Australia and New Zealand responsible for providing accreditation of conformity assessment bodies (CABs) in the fields of certification and inspection. JAS-ANZ accreditation demonstrates the competence and independence of these CABs. It accredits 70 CABs, which, in turn, certify some 50,000 organizations. Including accreditations and technical assistance projects, JAS-ANZ provides services in over 20 countries.

Other offical and NON-governmental organizations involved

Australian Business Volunteers (ABV)

Australian Business Volunteers (ABV) is a non-government, non-profit international development agency. Its mission is to contribute to sustainable growth in developing communities through the transfer of knowledge and workplace skills. This is achieved by using the experience and expertise of highly skilled professional volunteers. ABV focuses on capacity building within micro, small, medium and large enterprises in the private sector, but also works with government agencies, local NGOs and other community-based organizations.

Australian Council for International Development (ACFID)
Contact details

Tel: +61 2 6285 1816

Email: main [at] acfid.asn.au

Physical Address
14 Napier Close, Deakin, ACT, 2600

The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) supports a network of Australian NGOs which have a shared commitment to poverty reduction and the promotion of human rights and dignity. It provides members with a range of services and opportunities to exert influence on a broad array of themes, ranging from health and education to trade issues.

Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network Ltd (AFTINET)

The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network Ltd (AFTINET) is a national network on trade and investment policy. It supplies education materials, regular bulletins and speakers at public events. At an international level, it lobbies for different and fairer rules for international trade and investment. It carries out advocacy and advisory roles, such as monitoring trade and investment negotiations and providing critical re-assessment of the WTO and other trade structures and dispute processes.

Australian Volunteers International (AVI)
Physical Address
Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065

Australian Volunteers International (AVI) is a development agency working in over 60 countries across Asia, the Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. AVI places skilled professionals in local institutions with the overall objective of transferring capacity and assisting organizations to achieve their own objectives. It manages a range of programmes, the majority of which are funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Centre for International Economic Studies (CIES)
Contact details

Tel: +61 8 8313 6900
Fax: +61 8 8313 6948
Email: iit [at] adelaide.edu.au


Physical Address
Level 6, 10 Pulteney Street
ADELAIDE SA 5005, Australia

The Centre for International Economic Studies (CIES) is part of the University of Adelaide and is actively involved in research and consultancies commissioned by Australian groups such as ABARE, ACIAR, the Business Council of Australia, DFAT and CSIRO, and by international organizations such as ADB, APEC, FAO, OECD, UNCTAD, WBI and the World Bank. Among other areas, CIES research focuses on its Asia-Pacific neighbuors, the global trading system and the WTO.

Crawford Fund
Contact details

Tel: +61 2 6280 8611
Fax: +61 2 6280 8944
Email: crawford [at] crawfordfund.org

Physical Address
Wetlands House
Unit 7/ 1 Dairy Road, Fyshwhick   ACT   2609

The mission of the Crawford Fund is to increase Australia’s engagement in international agricultural research for the benefit of developing countries and Australia. The Fund promotes and supports international research and development activities in which Australian research organizations and companies are active participants. It also assists in the transfer of agricultural technologies to developing countries through specialist training programs.

Institute for International Trade (IIT)
Contact details

Tel: +61 8 8313 6900
Fax: +61 8 8313 6948

Email: iit [at] adelaide.edu.au

Physical Address
Level 6, 10 Pulteney Street
ADELAIDE SA 5005, Australia

The Institute for International Trade (IIT) is part of the University of Adelaide. It has a major focus on trade-related capacity building and undertakes research, training and technical assistance programmes for government, the private sector and multilateral organizations. It has undertaken considerable work in the Asia Pacific region on the implications of trade agreements and in assisting developing countries in preparing for trade negotiations, whether at the multilateral, regional or bilateral level. IIT runs a unique master’s programme, “International Trade and Development”, with courses and electives covering aid for trade and the role of trade-related capacity building in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA)
Contact details

Tel: +61 8 7231 7700 
Fax: +61 8 8370 8381
Email: info [at] nasaa.com.au

Physical Address
Unit 7/3, Mount Barker Road, Stirling SA 5152

The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA) is the nation’s leading organic certifier and provides quality cost-efficient organic certification services both in Australia and overseas. Its certification and inspection services facilitate market access throughout the world for NASAA-certified organic products.

Volunteering for International Development from Australia (VIDA)

Volunteering for International Development from Australia (VIDA) is part of the Australian Government’s volunteer program and is funded by AusAID. The VIDA Programme places skilled Australian volunteers in developing countries in the Asia Pacific region. Volunteers work with local counterparts to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development in their communities through skills and knowledge exchange, institutional strengthening and capacity building.

Selected TCB programmes and initiatives in this guide

ASEAN Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II
Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus
ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area Economic Cooperation Support Program
Integration into the global trading system—Laos
Australia -World Intellectual Property Organisation Funds in Trust Program
Addressing non-communicable diseases
Improving investment climate—working with the World Bank
Cambodia Agriculture Value Chain Program
Boosting income through better farming practices—Indonesia
Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access
Financing for infrastructure—The Philippines
Trade Development Facility (TDF)
Fostering the services sector
Connecting women-led businesses to global value chains—Indian Ocean Rim Association Countries
Agriculture Value Chain Collaborative Research
Market Development Facility
Facilitating trade—WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation
Mainstreaming trade in national development strategies—Enhanced Integrated Framework
Strongim Gavman Programme (SGP)
Banking opportunities for the poor—South Pacific
Connectivity in the Mekong—Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam
Cambodia Emergency Flood Rehabilitation Project
Samoa Economic Infrastructure Program
Enhancing access to trade finance—working with the Asian Development Bank
Empowering women through trade—South Pacific
TCB cooperation initiatives with UN/international agencies and bilateral partners

Funding is via core contribution, or through earmarked and project-based grants. Australia, either through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) or other Australia Government Agencies and Departments, takes an active collaborative role with multilateral partners through participation in meetings, consultations, governing bodies and Boards. DFAT also organizes annual High Level Consultations with the largest multilateral partners to discuss progress to date on common initiatives and to determine shared priorities for future action. The funding mechanism is grant funding.

Collaboration occurs through grant funding to multilateral agencies and development banks, including the World Trade Organization, the Enhanced Integrated Framework, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the International Trade Centre, the International Finance Corporation and the Asian Development Bank.

Data collection mechanisms are dependent on partner systems. DFAT draws on existing reporting by multilateral organizations, alongside other internal data collection and reporting processes that are linked to DFAT’s quality assurance system.

Monitoring and evaluation occurs through DFAT’s quality processes, in tandem with partner systems and independent evaluations. DFAT is also an active participant in the Multilateral Organization Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN) which is a group of 17 donors that conduct common assessments for a small number of multilateral partners each year.