Recognition for work in development

La Trobe University Associate Professor Chris Roche has been recognised by the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) for his contribution to the sector.

Sunset Volleyball in Fiji - image credit Tim JohnsonHe was recently presented with the prestigious Annual Contribution to the Sector Award by ACFID President Meredith Burgmann.

La Trobe University Vice Chancellor Professor John Dewar paid tribute to Associate Professor Roche and said the award was testimony to the work he had engaged in for more than a quarter of a century.

‘With more than 25 years of experience working for international NGOs, Associate Professor Roche has led debates and innovations in development practice including monitoring and evaluation, gender justice, accountability and theories of change,’ Professor Dewar said.

‘His voice and ideas have helped organisations and individuals in the aid and development sector to ask critical questions and consider how to make better choices to support poverty alleviation. His work is also bringing to life La Trobe’s commitment to address the big issues of our time.’  

Associate Professor Roche recently joined La Trobe University as Chair of International Development where he is developing new linkages between academia and development agencies. As part of this role, he co-designed the core unit Making Social Change Happen for the Masters of International Development

Associate Professor Roche said he was honoured to receive the award from a sector that was facing significant opportunities and challenges. 

‘I remain convinced of the important role of NGOs and even more so of their missions which revolve around the eradication of poverty and the creation of a just world,’ he said.

He believes International NGOs need to more fully challenge unequal power relations and the political, economic and social processes that drive these, both at home and overseas. 

Before joining La Trobe, he was the Director of Development Effectiveness at Oxfam Australia. He is author of the book Impact Assessment for Development Agencies, the recent report Promoting Voice and Choice: Exploring Innovations in Australian NGO accountability and co-editor of Ethical Questions and International NGOs.

La Trobe University is silver sponsor for the ACFID Development Futures Conference in Sydney from 21 – 22 November where Associate Professor Roche will speak about ‘The End of the Golden Age of NGOs?’ 

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Penny Underwood T: (03) 9818 6339 or

Image credit: Timothy D Johnson