Foreign affairs and overseas aid: a quick guide to key internet links

10 December 2015

PDF version [264KB]

Dr Cameron Hill and Dr Ravi Tomar
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security Section


Foreign affairs

Australian Parliament

Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade: Includes information about current and previous Joint Standing Committees and inquiries.

Senate Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade: Includes information about current and previous Senate Standing Committees and inquiries.

Australian Government

Minister for Foreign Affairs: Includes media releases, interview transcripts, speeches and articles from the Minister.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Includes country briefs, fact sheets and travel advice.

Australian think-tanks and research centres

Australian Institute of International Affairs: A nation-wide organisation aiming to promote Australian understanding of international affairs. The Institute sponsors regular seminars and talks, policy commentary, and publications, including the Australian Journal of International Affairs.

Lowy Institute for International Policy: Founded in 2003, the Lowy Institute is a foreign policy think-tank based in Sydney which sponsors events, public forums, and research programs.

College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University: The College’s teaching staff includes several world-renowned academics. The website offers many freely-available publications and commentary on current events in the region.

Asialink, University of Melbourne: Asialink organises a variety of programs to promote links between Australia and Asia. The website has a number of research publications, and also includes an e-newsletter.

The United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney: Aims to increase understanding of the United States in Australia through research, teaching and public forums.

Centre for European Studies, Australian National University: ANUCES is a collective program involving five ANU Colleges (Arts and Social Sciences, Law, Business and Economics, Asia and the Pacific and Medicine, Biology and Environment), which ‘focuses the talents of hundreds of researchers, teachers and students working on Europe on a single site’.

Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies, Australian National University: ‘The Centre integrates the study of Middle Eastern and Central Asian contemporary politics, history, culture, political economy, economics, and the role of Islam within the broader framework of the changing global order’.

Future Directions International: An independent research institute based in Perth which aims to provide ‘informed, balanced advice’ in the areas of ‘developments in the Indian Ocean Region; Australia’s energy security; future directions for Northern Australia; and Australia’s role in solving future global food and water crises’.

Other foreign ministries

US State Department: Includes country briefs, fact sheets, and copies of treaties, press releases, and annual reports on areas related to international affairs.

UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Includes policies, fact sheets, travel advice, news, statistics and publications.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China: Includes English-language news reports, transcripts of press conferences, and general information about China.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Indonesia: Includes news, media releases, and English translations of foreign policy documents.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan: Includes issue briefs, news feeds, and English translations of policy documents.

Ministry of External Affairs, India: Includes a media centre, policy documents, and information about travelling in India.

Regional, international and non-government organisations

United Nations: Includes information and documents about UN bodies, programs and policies.

G20: Includes news, strategy documents and information about upcoming G20 meetings.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations: Includes press statements, outcomes of regional meetings, annual reports and statistical publications.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat: Includes statements from Pacific leaders as well as reports, divided by topic, on regional governance, security, and strategic partnerships.

European Union: Includes country-specific, multilingual information on how the EU works, with supporting statistical documents and reports.

Inter-Parliamentary Union: Includes a database on national parliaments and elections, as well as statistics on women in parliament.

Human Rights Watch: Includes country reports, issues briefs and multimedia resources.

International think-tanks and research centres

Council on Foreign Relations (US): CFR is an independent, non-partisan research institution and publisher. Amongst its publications is the journal Foreign Affairs, a leading publication on world politics.

Center for Strategic & International Studies (US): CSIS is a bipartisan institution for the study of international policy. Although the pre-eminent focus is on US security and defence policy, it also researches other transnational challenges, including those related to energy, climate, development and economic integration.

Brookings Institution (US): Brookings is an influential think-tank—its website includes discussion of a variety international policy issues.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (US): Carnegie is a global network of policy research centres, with offices in Russia, China, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.

International Crisis Group (Belgium): With the stated goal of ‘working to prevent conflict worldwide’, ICG’s reports and commentary are mostly concerned with issues of conflict and peace negotiations.

Institute for Southeast Asian Studies/ISEAS—Yusof Ishak Institute (Singapore): The ISEAS publishes four journals, and a range of research papers and regular analytical reports (ISEAS Perspective) of current events and their significance for the Southeast Asian region.


Economist Intelligence Unit:  Incudes country briefs, forecasts and economic statistics.

CIA World Factbook: Includes country facts and figures, maps and biographies of key world leaders.

Aid and development

Australian Government

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade—Australia’s aid program: Includes information and statistics on the Australian Government’s aid programs by sector and country.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade—The Office of Development Effectiveness: Includes published reviews and evaluations of the Australian Government’s aid activities.

Australian think-tanks and non-government organisations

Development Policy Centre, Australian National University: A think-tank that provides discussion papers, policy briefs and a blog to promote discussion of aid and development policy with a focus on Australia and its region.

Australian Council for International Development: ACFID is ‘the peak body for the not-for-profit aid and development sector in Australia’, comprising over 130 member organisations, including Australian NGOs and international development organisations.

AID/WATCH: describes itself as ‘Australia’s independent monitor of international aid and trade policy’ the aim of which is to ‘focus on the systems that cause poverty and inequality and campaign to end the use of aid to further Australia’s economic national interest and [sic] the expense of the poor’.

International organisations

World Bank: A group dedicated to ending extreme poverty. The website includes data sheets, publications, news feeds, and a variety of blogs.

Asian Development Bank (ADB): Similar to the World Bank, but with a regional focus. The website includes updates of ADB activities, country fact sheets, and development planning documents.

UN Development Programme (UNDP): Includes information on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relating to poverty reduction, education, health, gender equality, and more.

OECD Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD-DAC): Includes statistics, policy briefings, and peer reviews of OECD member countries’ international development assistance programs.


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