Good research can lead to positive change for the world's poorest by enhancing
the design and implementation of development policies and programs. That's why
Australia is committed to an innovative research portfolio and funds research,
- competitive funding mechanisms (such as the Australian Development Research Awards)
- research partnerships with different Australian, international and developing
country research institutions
- commissioning research to address a specific question or clearly defined
- one-off research grants, when an existing program of research is relevant to the
Australian aid program.
More information on how we fund
Economic Research on trade facilitation in the Mekong
Australian funding to infrastructure projects in Laos are part of a greater
Mekong connectivity initiative to improve local people’s access to markets through
infrastructure and trade reform.
Australia is supporting infrastructure initiatives to improve economic growth and
poverty reduction in the Mekong. Photo: Jim Holmes / Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
In 2010, Australia commissioned the Centre for
International Economics [external website] to produce a report on the economic
benefits of increased trade and transport facilitation in the Greater Mekong
Subregion to reinforce the economic case for Australia’s investments in these
The report presents evidence to suggest that economic integration is playing an
important role in the dynamic performance of the subregion, but that there is scope
to expand this role by further reducing the costs of cross-border trade and
transport. In most countries there is considerable room for improvement in trade and
transport facilitation, and feasible changes could yield significant increases in
national incomes. The evidence suggests that complementing infrastructure
investments with procedural reforms to reduce costs and delays of cross-border trade
could bring about sizeable economic benefits.
CSIRO Mekong Futures
The Exploring Mekong
Region Futures project [external website] aims to improve the sustainability of
the Mekong Region by investigating the complex relationships between the production,
distribution, and use of energy, food and water of the region.
The project focuses on the dynamic interactions that occur between the management
of food, energy and water at local and regional scales.
Changes in countries in the Mekong region are shaped by factors such as cross-
border investment flows, climate change, rapid land use change and urbanisation, and
Understanding this connectivity of the Mekong region requires both local and
Challenge Program on Water and Food Mekong Basin Challenge, and the Hydropower
Sustainability Assessment Protocol
The Australian Mekong Water Resources Program is funding research by the Challenge Program on Water and Food
(CPWF) [external website] to improve decision-making processes on hydropower
development. The research program commenced in 2011 and will start demonstrating
results by 2013.
Through the CPWF and its partner the Mekong Program on Water, Environment and
Resilience, Australia has also funded the development and application of a
hydropower sustainability assessment protocol in the Greater Mekong Subregion.