The Pitch

The Pitch is a collection of ready-made policy proposals published by the Lab.

It offers practical solutions to policy problems that incorporate cracking analysis.

We collaborate with the development experts to help you understand what the problem is, what can be done, and what the next steps are.

The Latest Pitch
Pitch 04.03

Work smarter

Capabilities and analysis to see the region clearly.

December 2023

Inquiry 04

What can Australia do differently to be the region’s partner of choice?

When the Albanese Government came to power it committed to regaining Australia’s position and trust in the Pacific. With the release of its new international development policy, it says it wants to make Australia the partner of choice for the wider Indo-Pacific.  

This is no easy feat. Indo-Pacific nations have more choices than ever. Regional governments select their development partners based on what is offered as well as who is doing the offering.  

This Inquiry explores steps Australia could take if it wanted to improve that offering and secure its place as a leading development partner for the region.    

Pitch 04.01

Listen better

Skills and mechanisms to hear Australia’s partners better.

Pitch 04.02

Build self-awareness

Understand Australia’s strengths and weaknesses.

Pitch 04.03

Work smarter

Capabilities and analysis to see the region clearly.

September 2023

Inquiry 03

How can Canberra be catalytic in implementing the new development policy?

The new international development policy has dropped, and across the development ecosystem the response has been a healthy mix of congratulations, relief, disappointment and cautious hope, along with worry that the big promises in the new policy won’t – or simply can’t – be delivered upon. 

The focus is now shifting to implementation and everything that will translate the policy into action: sectoral sub-strategies, a refreshed development partnership planning process, performance systems. These are the essential underpinnings of any development cooperation program, and the price of entry to the donor world. 

In her foreword to the policy, Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong noted that Australia will have to make “meaningful changes” to how it thinks, plans, and engages if it is to achieve the policy’s objectives. 

So we’ve challenged ourselves to think bigger and identify several constraints that the Government can tackle head on if it’s serious about making this policy and its impact really count. Whether it be DFAT’s capability and resource shortfalls, or the authorising environment for development ambition, this Inquiry explores three potential changes that will help translate the new development policy commitments into catalytic development impact. 

Pitch 03.01

Build a new consensus on development

Authorise development ambition through both public and elite support.

Pitch 03.02

Incentivise development capability

Rebuild development capability through incentives.

Pitch 03.03

Manage for impact

Re-orient management choices towards development impact.


Inquiry 02

How can we nudge Canberra to a more sophisticated development approach?

As bureaucrats pore over submissions to the Government's new development policy, the Lab's Pitch Inquiry considers three measures that would help nudge Canberra towards a more sophisticated approach to the region. Implementing these measures at home would help improve the effectiveness of the development program.

Pitch 02.01

Rebooting Situation Analysis.

Rebooting situation analysis to better understand the countries we work in.

Pitch 02.02

Resetting Southeast Asia Strategy.

A suite of ideas to refresh how Australia engages with Southeast Asia on development.

Pitch 02.03

An Independent Outcomes Review by 2025.

Measures to improve development program outcomes.

October 2022

Inquiry 01

How can we multiply the impact of the development dollar?

The development budget isn’t likely to grow substantially any time soon, so we can ill-afford to waste a single development dollar. Not only that, but the dollars we do have will need to work harder.

Development funding is essential to meeting the challenges we’re facing in relation to increasing climate crises, war and displacement, food insecurity, geo-strategic competition, and growing inequity following the pandemic. In the absence of being able to throw more money at it, we need to get the most bang for our buck.

In the first Inquiry for the Pitch, the Lab has explored three ways we can make our money go further.

Pitch 01.01

Pacific Donor Coordination.

Coordinating donors in the region to avoid duplication.

Pitch 01.02

Behind Border Corruption Measures

Tackling corruption at home to enhance development abroad.

Pitch 01.03

A New Approach To Philanthropy.

Removing barriers to philanthropic giving for development.

Sign up to be the first in the know when our next Pitch lands.