Why innovate in aid and development?
The world is changing. Fast. New pockets of poverty. New technologies. New sources of development finance. New players. New opportunities. It is clear that our approach to development must adapt and keep pace.
We believe that innovation – finding new ways to solve problems – holds the key to progress and success in our world. Innovation can help deliver development solutions that are cheaper, faster and more effective. By thinking differently about risk, we can make investments with greater reward and greater impact.
We know we don’t have all the answers. But by being open to new perspectives and encouraging fresh thinking, we believe we can find new ways to tackle our toughest challenges and seize the most exciting opportunities.
What is the change we want to see?
We want to see economies in our region grow and jobs created that will lift people out of poverty. We want to see efficient and effective governments. We want a world where women and minorities have access to the same opportunities as others. Wouldn’t you?
However, to do that, we need to change how we think of international development aid. We need to innovate across the whole Australian aid program. More of our aid needs to catalyse or enable business and individual empowerment. We need to do a better job of directing additional finance towards positive social outcomes in our region.
How is the Australian Government responding to this need for change?
InnovationXchange has been established to catalyse and support innovation across the Australian aid program. InnovationXchange will identify, trial and scale up successful approaches. We will find and collaborate with new partners. InnovationXchange will also share learnings and broker new connections so that innovation becomes intrinsic to the delivery of the whole aid program.
InnovationXchange will follow five key principles:
- Openness - We work in the open, sharing learnings broadly to support participation in innovation and drive new, better thinking.
- Leadership - We demonstrate and influence change towards new ways of working.
- Collaboration - We co-create with a range of partners.
- Agility - We are problem solvers in the business of funding trials. A cycle of iteration, adaptation and learning will be the foundation for our progress.
- Engagement with Risk - We look at risk differently. We don’t think of risk as something to be avoided or mitigated at all costs. We recognise the upside of risk and that innovation offers the potential for reward and big impact. Taking risks is essential to pioneering new approaches. We strive for transformational change, knowing that the path to that change is not always clear.