ACIAR’s origins

The need for an independent body to increase the effectiveness of Australia’s development assistance in science and technology was considered in 1975 by a Study Committee chaired by Sir John Crawford. The Committee’s report is attached below. The Crawford Report led in 1981 to a proposal to Cabinet, and enactment of the ACIAR legislation in 1982. The Second Reading Speeches for the original and amended Acts are appended below.


ACIAR was established in 1982, under the ACIAR Act, which included provision for a sunset review of the Centre after 10 years of operation. This review recommended that the sunset clause be lifted, to be replaced by periodic reviews of the Centre.

As a result, ACIAR’s effectiveness has been assessed formally through reviews at regular intervals throughout its years of operation.The reviews that have been conducted of the Centre as a whole are:

These reviews, and ACIAR’s formal responses (where applicable) are included in the attachments below.

In addition, reviews of the Australian aid program or its components, such as the Simons review of the Australian aid program (1996-97), have included ACIAR.