Some bits and pieces to end the year:
In Canberra, aid uncertainty continues apace. The aid program is gone, and cuts to funding have been flagged, yet where these cuts might fall (and even their magnitude) is anyone’s guess. As Always, the Development Policy Centre’s blog is the best source of news, with Robin Davies’s posts being particularly well informed.
The Development Policy Centre has also just released the results of its Australian Aid Stakeholder Survey. The survey is based on the perspectives of the people who interact with the aid programme on a regular basis, and there is a tonne of useful and interesting information buried within it. It would be great to replicate the endeavour in New Zealand — if you are interested in helping us do that please let us know.
Commitment to Development 2013
Hello and welcome to another NZADDs email update,
Australian Aid Agonies
With the demise of AusAID, this week saw the end of an era. Former AusAID staffer Robin Davies has an elegant eulogy for the agency up on the Development Policy Centre’s website. The big question now is, of course, ‘what now?’ Robin appears to suggest in his blog that the planned integration may go beyond what occurred in New Zealand, with the aid programme ceasing to be an entity in any meaningful sense, and with aid being delivered via DFAT country desks. Possibly I’m misreading the blog, but were integration to take this form it would likely prove disastrous in the Australian context. Giving aid well requires expertise and a coherent community of staff who can share learning, and who are governed by norms of good practice. It is hard to see how this could exist absent a specialised aid department.
Other aspects of the upcoming changes are becoming clearer: staff cuts appear almost certain, and an email containing some of the principles governing reintegration planning can be found on the Development Policy Centre’s website.