Take action

What Can I Do To Help?

Are you passionate about international development issues and want to do something to help? What area of international development are you most interested in? We have lots of ideas, listed by topic, of things that you can do!

Aid Effectiveness

Aid Effectiveness

Are you interested in finding out exactly how effective Australian aid is, and what you can do to help the 1.4 billion people in our world living in extreme poverty? Check out these ideas to see what you can do:

Get Informed - The Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness is available to read online at: http://www.aidreview.gov.au/index.html.

Write to your MP - Let your MP know how important you think the Australian Governments commitment to foreign aid is! A how-to guide can be found at www.globalpovertyproject.com/howto/politician_lette

Get clued up- Want to know where the money we send overseas is really going and if it's creating lasting change Aid Watch is an independant monitor of Australia's aid http://aidwatch.org.au/

Get involved- The Australian Volunteers for International Development program, an Australian Government initiative, supports skilled Australians to live and work in developing countries http://www.volunteering.austraining.com.au/. Volunteers work with local people in Host Organisations in Asia, the Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to contribute to sustainable development. The Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) program sends passionate young Australians aged 18 – 30 on short term volunteer assignments (3 – 12 months) http://www.ayad.com.au/.

Look deeper- Watch this YouTube clip to find out what everyday Australians think about giving overseas aid http://ow.ly/bDLK4

Get local- How does the Australian Government ensure that our aid money doesn't fall into the wrong hands? Read the  'Tackling Corruption for Growth and Development' report  http://aid.dfat.gov.au/Publications/Documents/anticorruption.pdf



Child Protection

Child Protection

Child Exploitation

Here are some ideas on how you can help put an end to child exploitation.

Get the facts- Check out the International Labour Organization (ILO) (http://www.ilo.org) or UNICEF (http://www.unicef.org) to get the facts on child exploitation, labour and trafficking

Investigate the problem- Read the Palaung Women’s Organisation’s in depth report on human trafficking on the China-Burma border at http://www.iwda.org.au/au/news-resources/media-releases/

Join the movement- Sign up to Don’t Trade Lives, World Vision’s campaign to combat human trafficking and slavery at http://www.donttradelives.com.au

Support Fairtrade- Find out how buying products which are certified Fairtrade can make a real difference to farmers in developing countries at http://www.fairtrade.com.au

Look deeper- All countries who have signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child are responsible for ensuring the basic rights of children. Check whether Australia has signed it, and how closely we enforce it at http://ow.ly/8T8fo

Educate yourself- Want more information about child protection? UNICEF has a range of resources available to help at http://ow.ly/7HRLq


Conflict and Security

Conflict and Security

Peace Building

War leaves countries with a mixed legacy: a lack of the basic needs for survival but astonishing survival capacities; a complex legacy of experiences and emotions of violence and distrust but also intense solidarity and, sometimes, pride. As Australians we can assist countries in the job of reconciliation and rebuilding. Here are some ideas on how:

Tell five friends about the countries in our region that are trying to rebuild and how they are trying to make a go of it. Let them know that every country is different and so we need to take that into account.

Use Twitter or your Facebook page to spread the word.

Contact your MP to tell what you’ve heard tonight and encourage them to support an increased commitment to health and disease control for the poor countries in our region. MPs listen to voters like you.

Victims of war

Educate yourself- What defines a war, and what wars are happening in our world today? Do some research at http://ow.ly/ay5Lj

Share your opinions- Use your voice to discuss the horrific toll of war to make sure the most vulnerable are not forgotten

Get involved- During war, people often go without food or shelter for a long time. Want to know what it feels like?

  • Register for World Vision's 40 Hour Famine where you will go without food or something else important to you for 40 hours http://ow.ly/ay68U
  • Sign up for Live Below the Line where you'll feed yourself for less than $2 per day for a week http://ow.ly/ay68c

Give- Donate to or volunteer with the United Nations Refugee Agency who assist the victims of war www.unhcr.org


Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility

How do we bring about sustainable economic development? How can corporate leadership make a difference to the developing world through supporting a green economy? Here are some ideas on how you can help

Educate yourself- Read about the United Nations Global Impact, ten principles for businesses to align their operations in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption http://www.unglobalcompact.org/

Get local- What is sustainable economic development ? Check out the newly formed Climate Council for facts and figures on Climate Change http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/

Check the ratings- Check out the Corporate Responsibility Index results http://www.corporate-responsibility.com.au/

Disability & Development

Disability & Development

Get Local-The Australian Government aim to support the participation of people with disability in economic, social and political life to reduce poverty, increase economic growth and enhance democratic governance.Want to know how? Check it out here: http://aid.dfat.gov.au/aidissues/did/Pages/home.aspx

Attend Events- Interested in delving further into the issues of disability and development? The Australian Disability and Development Consortium has a calendar of events you can follow: http://www.addc.org.au/calendars/

Volunteer- Interested in volunteering to assist people in Australia with a disability? The House With No Steps would be happy to have you! For info on how to apply, look up http://www.hwns.com.au/volunteers/

Educate yourself- What is a disability and what are the barriers people with a disability face? Do some research on the Australian Disability and Development Consotrium's website and become a ADDC member http://ow.ly/aOrfC

Sign up- to the End the Cycle campaign to stand with people with disabilities for their rights to end the cycle of poverty and disability, and stay informed http://www.endthecycle.org.au

Look deeper- Want to know what our government is doing to assist those living with a disability in Australia and beyond? Check out http://ow.ly/aOrrv

Share your opinions- Use your voice to discuss the importance of assisting people with a disability in developing countries.

Volunteer- with these organisations



Read up- What kind of disasters affect our world? Check out the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters to find the answer to this question and many more: http://www.ijmed.org/

Be prepared- October 13th is the United Nations International Day for Disaster Reduction, to raise awareness how people are taking action to reduce their risk to disasters. What are you doing to reduce your risk to disasters in your home town?

Donate- Currently, Typhoon Haiyan has impacted the lives of over 11 million people in the Philippines, destroying infrastructure and taking the lives of thousands. It will take a long time and a lot of money to rebuild after such a disaster. For a list of agencies accepting donations check out http://www.acfid.asn.au/aid-issues/humanitarian-response

Economics and Development

Economics and Development

Economic Justice

Economic justice means that people living in poverty have the right and are able to earn enough to look after themselves and their families. About two third of the world’s people don’t have this, and around 1 billion people don't even know where their next meal is coming from. What can you do to help?

When you want to make a difference but it all seems too hard, get a group of like-minded people together. Suddenly you have support and influence.

Contact your MP to tell them what you’ve heard tonight and encourage them to support an increased commitment to working with the corporate sector to help the poor. Why can’t we bring about an economically just future? MPs listen to voters like you.



Education is one of the best development investments. It is transformational for individuals, families and societies. Education is critical to the achievement of all Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other development outcomes. So what can you do to help?

Get schooled up- Unicef has a host of resourced to get you schooled up on the issue of education and poverty. Check them out at http://www.unicef.org/index.php

Get interactive- The United Nationals Girls Education Initiative addresses issues specifically related to girls access to education. Follow them on twitter for regular updates @UNGEI

Learn from our successes- The Australian Government has made some impressive headway in improving education in developing countries in our region. Read up on these successes at http://www.ausaid.gov.au/keyaid/education.cfm

Volunteer- Want to use your skills to help improve education in developing countries? Australian Volunteers International may have the project for you! http://www.australianvolunteers.com/home.aspx

Environmental Sustainability

Environmental Sustainability

Corporate Social Responsibility

How do we bring about sustainable economic development? How can corporate leadership make a difference to the developing world through supporting a green economy? Here are some ideas on how you can help

Educate yourself- Read about the United Nations Global Impact, ten principles for businesses to align their operations in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption http://www.unglobalcompact.org/

Get local- What is the Australian Government doing to bring about sustainable economic development? Check out the Department of Climate Change at www.climatechange.gov.au

Check the ratings- Check out the Corporate Responsibility Index results http://www.corporate-responsibility.com.au/

Food Security

Food Security

More than half the world's population lives in low-income, food-deficit countries that are unable to produce or import enough food to feed their people. More than one-third of all children are malnourished and 6 million children a year die of causes related to malnutrition. What can we do to help?

Get Local- Is the Australian Government doing anything to help those hungry in our region? Check out http://www.ausaid.gov.au/keyaid/food_security.cfm for answers

Educate Yourself- Why is there such a demand for food and land worldwide? Check out these organisations websites to examine the problem:

Share your opinions- Use your voice to share your opinions on the projected rise of global hunger and the competition for land.

Donate or volunteer- There are a number of organisations working towards raising the voices of the poor on issues of land and resources. Read more and volunteer with them or donate at:

Gender Equality

Gender Equality

Violence Against Women

Every day, 1,000 women are violently assaulted across Australia, and one in three women will be assaulted or abused in their lifetime. Globally, up to six out of every ten women experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. These women are our mothers, our girlfriends, our wives, our daughters, our colleagues and our friends. We cannot allow this to continue any longer! Here are some ideas on how you can help

Participate in Domestic Violence Prevention Month in May every year. It’s about community awareness of the social and personal impacts of domestic and family violence as well as support available to those affected. For more info. go to www.communityservices.qld.gov.au and search for DV Prevention month.

Speak out if you suspect someone you know is being abused by a person in their lives.

Take the White Ribbon Oath to never commit, excuse or be silent about violence against women.

Volunteer with World Vision, UN Women or another NGO to help end violence against women around the world.

Support RTN! Reclaim the Night is an annual women’s only rally that happens all over the world on the last Friday in October. Join women everywhere in protesting men’s sexual violence and celebrating their strength. RTN runs in every capital city and often in regional communities too. For more info go to http://www.isis.aust.com/rtn/

Women's Rights as Human Rights

When women have equal rights, access to essential health services and equal access to education, they are healthier, have greater access to land, jobs and financial resources. And they also become a key driving force against poverty.
How can we ensure that this breach of human rights does not continue? What can you do to help?

Declare yourself a feminist (whether you are a male or female)

When you donate, choose to invest in women and girls

Log on to www.internationalwomensday.com/articles to share your opinion on matters impacting women’s equality

Global Health

Global Health

Health and Millenium Development Goals

Back in 2000, Australia pledged to take steps to improve conditions for the world’s poorest people by committing to the Millennium development goals, yet a recent World Health Organisation report has found that in the areas of health, we are not on track to meet these goals by our deadline, 2015. The solutions are well known, proven and cost effective. So, why haven’t we fixed it? What are our responsibilities to each other and the world’s poor? And what can we do to ensure a safe and healthy future for us all? Here are some ideas on how you can help:

Educate yourself: Log on to the World Health Organisation’s website (http://www.who.int/en/) and learn about the health issues as well as cutting edge treatments in our world today.

Write to your local MP to encourage them to prioritise health in government aid spending. Tell them that by prioritising health, we can:

  • Help train more midwives in our region to reduce the number of complications during pregnancy and childbirth
  • Invest in resources such as bed nets and immunisation programs to reduce the instances of the 8.1 million children under 5 dying of preventable illnesses every year

Make your voice heard by joining the Millennium Campaign (http://www.endpoverty2015.org/) which urges our world leaders to honour their commitment of meeting the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Human Rights

Human Rights


Currently, more than 42 million people around the world are displaced by conflict or persecution- this is double Australia’s population. Of these 15.2 million are refugees. What can we do for those 42 million people who don’t have a place to call home? Here are some ideas on how you can help

Get clued-up – Want to find out what a refugee really is? Want to know why someone would flee their homeland to come to Australia? The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) can answer these questions and more: http://www.unhcr.org

Look deeper – What is our government doing to help refugees? Check out the Department of Immigration fact sheets at: http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/60refugee.htm

Get active online – Follow live field reports from UNHCR staff working all over the world on twitter: @Refugees

Throw a welcome party – You can turn any event into a Welcome Party by choosing to say 'You are welcome here', to show the Welcome to Australia DVD and to hand out the downloadable information sheet. You can throw a Welcome Party as a one-off event, or turn your regular sporting match, religious service or school day into a Welcome Party by incorporating these elements. More info? Look up http://www.welcometoaustralia.org.au

Water & Sanitation

Water & Sanitation

Access to clean water and effective sanitation has a catalytic effect on many aspects of human development, being essential for a healthy population and environmental sustainability. Unfortunately, millions around the world suffer without access to clean water and sanitation. What can we do to help?

Get Informed- Why is clean water so important anyway? Check out UN HABITAT's 'Clean Water for a Healthy World' series at http://www.unhabitat.org/categories.asp?catid=270#

Get involved- WaterAid Australia's vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. For events to attend and volunteering opportunities, check out http://www.wateraidcommunity.org.au/page.aspx?pid=484


World Poverty

World Poverty

World Povery and the Millenium Development Goals

Two-thirds of the world is poor, one-third is desperately poor. In total, that's 3.7 billion people who have to live without the things we take for granted – sufficient food, clean water and proper sanitation, and education for their children. In 2000, the world’s nations promised to drastically reduce poverty by 2015 through the Millennium Development Goals. With only 5 years to go there’s still a lot of work to do. Here are some ideas on how you can help:

Keep your finger on the pulse by checking out these websites:
http://aid.dfat.gov.au/,  www.worldvision.com.au, http://www.un.org/en/mdg/summit2010/ and http://www.cappe.edu.au/

When you want to make a difference but it all seems too hard, get a group of like-minded people together. Suddenly you have support and influence.

Sport and Poverty

Sport is a major part of the lives of most Australian’s. It brings people together to work towards succeeding at common goals. It combines community spirit, and it’s with that spirit that communities can start to make a difference.
Here are some ideas on how you can use sport to instigate social change

Get clued-up - UNICEF say that sport is vital to children’s health and well being. Want to find out why? Check out http://www.unicef.org/sports

Look deeper - As well as being lots of fun, did you know that sport is also helping to create peace in war zones around the world, and even curb the spread of HIV/AIDS? For a full report see: http://ww.unicef.org/sports/reportE.pdf

Get interactive - Check out the International Platform on Sport and Development’s YouTube channel for lots of inspiring stories: http://www.youtube.com/sportanddev

Shop ethically – Want to make sure the sports equipment you buy is fair-trade, sustainable and free from child labour? Shop at Etiko- www.etiko.com.au

Volunteer – Do you have a passion for sports, travel and volunteering? Have a look at these websites for ways you can combine your interests:
• Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development: http://www.ayad.com.au
• Australian Volunteers International http://www.australianvolunteers.com
• Projects Abroad http://www.projects-abroad.com.au/projects/sports/school-sports

Corruption and Poverty

While aid can help build sustainable government institutions, strengthen governance and target corruption, some believe we shouldn’t give aid to those countries that suffer poor governance and corruption because our efforts are wasted. What’s the answer? How we can help build good governance and put an end to corruption the developing world?

Educate yourself- Log onto www.oecd.org (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) and read key anti-corruption statistics, publications and treaties

Stay informed- Sign up to monthly e-updates from Transparency International at www.transparency.org.au or download their IPhone Application

Share your opinions- Engage in discussions about cutting edge corruption issues at http://blog.transparency.org

Get local- How does the Australian Government ensure that our aid money doesn’t fall into the wrong hands? Read AusAIDs ‘Tackling Corruption for Growth and Development’ report at http://www.ausaid.gov.au/makediff/anticorruption.cfm

Lobby your MP- A 2009 Transparency International report noted that a national anti-corruption commission was needed in Australia for us to be ‘on par’ with other nations in the fight against corruption. Lobby your MP on the importance of this issue.