Foreign Assistance For Foreign Aid

2092 Words Jun 6th, 2016 9 Pages

A recent national poll published in The Guardian revealed that the average adult Australian respondent believes that over 13% of the Australian federal budget is spent on foreign aid overseas . When asked what percentage of the budget should go to foreign aid, the average response proposed around 10.34% . This was clearly a gross overestimate considering that foreign aid makes up only 0.9% of the federal budget . This result suggests that the average Australian, despite having an inaccurate sense of the realities, would still propose a reduction in the amount that Australia contributes to foreign aid.

This dilemma raises questions regarding the motivations and beliefs behind public attitudes towards foreign aid.
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Literature Review:

Research into assessing public attitudes towards foreign aid, while quite scarce, relies primarily on quantitative research methods such as surveys and polls to gather results. The majority of research highlights that there is a clear link between the background, circumstances and values of the Australian public respondents and their opinions on the importance of foreign aid.
A study analysing Australian responses to a survey concerning favour and opposition to Australian Aid, as well as perceived effectiveness of foreign aid organisations, found that there were clear links behind support for Foreign aid and regular support for welfare aid . Using both factor and regression analyses the study suggested that for the Australian Public, moral justifications were overwhelmingly more important than factors such as impact on Australian national interests and popularity internationally . The study ultimately culminated in the discovery that policy makers and NGO’s could use the relationship between welfare and foreign aid as an instrument when appealing to the public regarding the expansion of foreign aid . A quantitative survey developed by Child Fund Australia also looked into the perceived effectiveness of foreign aid, as determined by a random sample of both Australian adults and children . The study found that corruption and insufficient funding are understood to be the main obstacles to effective aid

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