Commentary from NZADDs

NZADDs was born out of a desire to stimulate more informed discussion regarding the how and why of NZ aid and development work. In particular, NZADDs emerged in response to the current changes in New Zealand’s government aid programme. We are concerned about these changes and so throughout 2011 NZADDs will focus predominantly on this area, even though our area of interest is aid and international development more broadly.

Over 60 years of global action to address poverty and suffering has taught us many things. Amongst these lessons is that aid and international development work is complex. There are no easy solutions and no quick fixes to be had. One approach to finding the best solutions amongst diverse and complex situations is to consult and discuss the issues with a wide range of people. These people must include those who we hope to assist by giving aid, governments, aid professionals, academics and anybody else who has an interest.

As a contribution to this, NZADDs aims to get ideas on aid and international development out into the public forum here in NZ, and to stimulate commentary and discussion. There are four main ways we will do this: through the media, through publishing documents such as research summaries or working papers, hosting forums (see our upcoming forum on ‘economic growth and aid’, and through posting commentary on our website.)

We don’t plan to have narrowly defined, standard position on all topics. We have a set of broad principles that underpin our work and guide whatever commentary NZADDs’ members produce. However, we value the complexity and contended nature of international aid and development work. Due to this, often our website commentary will be diverse and at times, even somewhat provocative.

We welcome guest commentators and would like to hear from you if you have something to contribute.

In the meantime, look out for our first website commentary coming-up in the next week on the OECD DAC Peer Review summary of recommendations.