“No other organisation has been as critical a partner in seeing to it that microcredit is used as a tool to eradicate poverty and empower women than RESULTS. Without your perseverance, commitment and advocacy, we would not have been able to make this groundbreaking announcement of having reached 106 million very poor borrowers with microloans.”
– Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate, founder of the Grameen Bank
When our CEO Maree Nutt joined RESULTS Australia about twenty five years ago, more than 40,000 children under the age of five died from preventable causes every day. Today, according to UNICEF, it is 16,000.
The number of people living in extreme poverty has halved in the same period.
This is a huge improvement – millions of lives saved and millions more people enjoying opportunities they wouldn’t have, had this change had not occurred.
Though RESULTS, of course, can’t take full credit for this incredible achievement, together with our partners and other organisations like us, we have certainly played a part.
Our citizen advocacy has mobilised billions of dollars in aid providing effective and sustainable programs benefiting world’s poorest people.
Already in 1988, only a couple of years after RESULTS Australia was founded, advocates had their first taste of what can be achieved. After hearing that the Minister of Foreign Affairs planned to end Australia’s contribution to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), volunteers began a long and persistent campaign, which resulted in the Australian Government not only agreeing to honour the existing pledge to IFAD, but also making a new pledge of $10 million.
This early success has been followed by many more. Here are some;
- RESULTS was instrumental in forming the first ever Asia Pacific TB Caucus in Sydney in September 2015- where parliamentarians from across our region committed to drive progress against the tuberculosis epidemic.
- Our call for investment in research to find better prevention, diagnostics and treatment for tuberculosis and malaria paid off in March 2015, when the government announced an additional $30 million in TB and malairia research funding.
- After a long and sustained grassroots campaign, the Australian government pledged $250 million over 5 years to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
- Our consistent advocacy was instrumental in the Australian government pledging an additional $50 million to Gavi in October 2014.
- RESULTS volunteer actions helped secure the Australian government’s $100 million commitment to eradicating polio in 2014.
- In 2013, our advocacy contributed to the Australian government signing onto the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Framework, a partnership that dedicate significant resources to fighting undernutrition. Australia pledged $40 million and committed to reviewing their programming priorities around the region
- Our campaigning was instrumental in Australia announcing a leading pledge of $200 million for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in 2011, which means that over seven million vulnerable children will receive lifesaving vaccines.
- Our advocacy helped secure Australia’s commitment of $200 million over 2014 to 2016 to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, which is the largest source of international funding to combat TB. In 2010, our advocacy also helped to bring about Australia’s $210 million pledge to The Global Fund – a 55 per cent increase from Australia’s previous pledge
- RESULTS campaigns for inclusive and equitable access to education. We celebrated a major win in 2014 when the Australian government announced it will allocate $1.3 billion to education aid, the equivalent of 23 percent of overall aid budget. In 2011, after a sustained campaign for the Global Partnership for Education, Australia pledged $270 million, which made us the then fourth largest donor.
- In 2012, we campaigned for our neighbours in Papua New Guinea, which resulted in the government investing $11 million into much needed TB services in the remote western province, including a rapid TB diagnostic machine, called Gene Xpert.
- In 2010 RESULTS worked extensively with our partners, The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Australian Government to assign the Debt2Health finance initiative, which resulted in a significant cancellation of Indonesian debt owed to Australia ($75 million), resulting in $37.5 million for lifesaving TB programs.
- Our targeted advocacy led to the release of Australia’s first microfinance strategy for the aid program, Financial Services for the Poor, in 2010. This Strategy called for a doubling of aid for microfinance to $20 million per year by 2013.
These are some examples of the impact our citizen advocacy has had. For more on our recent achievements have a look at our campaign pages.
And yes, much has been achieved. But with tens of thousands of children dying unnecessarily every day and over a billion people suffering the injustice of living in extreme poverty, our work is not done.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Photo credit: Gavi/Evelyn Hockstein