In September 2010, CRA, Caritas Australia and the Australian Catholic University (ACU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to form the Catholic Alliance for International Development (CAID). CAID ensures greater collaboration on international development in East Timor and the Pacific between the three organisations. It seeks to foster and facilitate an integrated ‘whole of Church’ approach to international development. It aims to do this by sharing information across organisations and maximising synergies.
Some of the early initiatives of CAID have been the launch of the Principles of Engagement on International Development. This document outlines key characteristics of international development based on Catholic social teaching. Other initiatives include a survey of religious congregations working in East Timor and the Pacific. The information from this survey will be collated to map international development initiatives being undertaken by religious congregations across the Pacific region and in East Timor. Other initiatives include professional development courses on international development and the establishment of a health sector reference group for those working on Catholic health initiatives in East Timor.
More than 30 Australian religious congregations are involved in development projects in the Pacific region and East Timor in the areas of health, education, pastoral work, welfare and religious and theological formation. CRA Executive Director, Sister Leone Wittmack rsc and Mercy Sister Antoinette Baldwin rsm attend CAID meetings.