Geographic mandate & regional focus
ACIAR’s mandate directs activities to developing countries. As with the other elements of Australia’s development assistance program, the Centre allocates most of its bilateral research funding to developing countries in Australia’s areas of special interest.
ACIAR projects operate in five regions: Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands; Southeast Asia; North Asia; South Asia, and Africa. In addition, research funding is allocated to multiregion research through international agricultural research centres.
ACIAR’s main focus for bilateral research is the Asia-Pacific region. The Centre is also, in accordance with the Statement’s direction, focusing its bilateral and multilateral research, both geographically and in terms of research priorities, to best match partner country needs to Australian expertise. Under its multilateral program ACIAR will support selected international agricultural research centres, particularly those with the ability to deliver projects in the Asia-Pacific region. ACIAR allocates approximately three quarters of its research and development budget to bilateral programs and the remaining quarter to the multilateral program.
Research in the Asia-Pacific region encompasses Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea, and North Asia, and is primarily delivered through bilateral projects. Research in South Asia and southern Africa utilises a mix of bilateral and multilateral projects designed to deliver benefits directly to and beyond those developing countries.
Since 1982 ACIAR has commissioned and managed more than 600 research projects, with a bilateral focus on around 30 countries. More than 150 institutions in partner countries have been involved in collaborative projects with more than 50 Australian research bodies.
ACIAR seeks to optimise the benefits of research projects by linking research groups from several partner countries with the same Australian research group. Partnerships can also comprise linkages with one or more international agricultural research centres to enhance project expertise. These linkages allow extension of research results beyond countries and regions within ACIAR’s sphere of operations, and help introduce partner-country researchers to valuable international research networks.