Operating structure

Previous ACIAR regions and partner countries

ACIAR is established by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Act 1982 (ACIAR Act), as amended, and it is an agency of the Australian Government Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio.

ACIAR is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and a statutory agency under the Public Service Act 1999.

ACIAR has an executive management governance structure headed by the CEO, who reports directly to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The CEO manages the administrative and financial affairs of ACIAR and its staff, subject to, and in accordance with, any directions given by the Minister. An executive team supports and advises the CEO on strategic priorities and corporate and operational policies.

The CEO is also supported by an Audit and Risk Committee, which provides independent assurance to the CEO on financial and performance reporting responsibilities, risk oversight and management, and systems of internal auditing of ACIAR.

Also established under the ACIAR Act is the Commission for International Agricultural Research and the Policy Advisory Council, to provide expert strategic advice to the Minister on international agricultural research for development.

ACIAR is a small government agency. The Chief Executive Officer leads a staff of 80 (full and part-time) in 2023–24:

  • 57 people located at ACIAR House in Canberra, Australia
  • 23 people locally engaged staff at missions and embassies of the Australian Government, throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

Staff are organised into 4 lines of management:

  • Country Partnerships
  • Research Programs
  • Outreach and Capacity Building
  • Corporate Services.

Commission for International Agricultural Research

The role of the Commission for International Agricultural Research under the ACIAR Act is to provide strategic advice to the Minister on the formulation of programs and policies to identify agricultural problems and find solutions in developing countries. The Commission also provides advice to the Minister on the functions of ACIAR, and priorities for the ACIAR program and funding.

Policy Advisory Council

The role of the Policy Advisory Council under the ACIAR Act is to provide advice to the Minister on the agricultural problems of developing countries and strategic aspects of national and regional development. The Council plays a role in facilitating partnerships and being pivotal in discussions for setting priorities and research focus as ACIAR continues to develop strategies with partner countries.

Governance structure of ACIAR

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More information about our executive staff and governance arrangements is available on the ACIAR website. > About ACIAR


Funding and expenditure

Table 1.1   Overview of planned funding and expenditure, 2023–24

Budget estimate  
Funding A$ million
AdministeredAdministered appropriation103.55
 Special accounts7.86
 Total administered funding111.41
DepartmentalDepartmental appropriation9.34
 s 74 Retained revenue receiptsa1.50
 Expenses not requiring appropriationb1.21
 Total departmental funding12.05
Total funding 123.46
Expenditure A$ million
AdministeredBilateral and regional research projectsc80.98
 Global research collaborationsd18.79
 Scientific and policy capacity-building activitiese9.47
 Total administered expenditure111.41
DepartmentalTotal departmental expendituref12.05
Total expenditure 123.46

a) Revenue from external sources
b) Depreciation, amortisation and audit fees
c) Includes program support and impact evaluation
d) Includes unrestricted funding to international centres
e) Does not include training and communication activity within projects
f)  Includes salaries, executive, Commission for International Agricultural Research, Policy Advisory Council and corporate support


Table 1.2   Planned contribution to ACIAR activities by external funders or partners, 2023–24

Activity areaPartner funderExpenditure
  A$ million
Regional and country projectsDepartment of Foreign Affairs and Trade5.03
Postgraduate scholarshipsDepartment of Foreign Affairs and Trade2.73
Food Futures Research ProgramInternational Development Research Centre (Canada)0.59
Total 8.35

Note   There is no external funding expenditure on projects and programs in Africa by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


Table 1.3   Australia’s funding to international research centres, 2023–24

International centreUnrestrictedRestricted (project-specific)Total
 A$ millionA$ millionA$ million
Other centres2.140.002.14

Note   ‘Other centres’ encompasses international partners that do not belong to the CGIAR network.


Table 1.4   Planned project expenditure by country, 2023–24

Region and countryTarget appropriation budget allocationsACIAR base appropriationDFAT and other external fundingTotal allocation
 %A$ millionA$ millionA$ million
Pacific region2717.131.6418.77
Solomon Islands2.470.402.87
Pacific island countries0.250.370.62
Papua New Guinea5.040.005.04
East and South-East Asia4930.913.1434.05
South Asia159.800.189.98
Sri Lanka0.640.090.73
Eastern and Southern Africa95.850.586.43
South Africa0.040.130.17
Total project expenditure 63.695.5469.23

Note   Due to rounding, not all subtotals add up to the total.
* Planned project expenditure for Myanmar will not occur in 2023–24. See East and South-​East Asia program for further explanation.

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