Update 4 August 2013

Welcome to another NZADDs email update.

Looking Forward: New Zealand Aid Beyond 2015 – Wednesday 4 September 2013
This half-day forum on 4 September will explore aid’s role amidst the shifting context of global development, and how New Zealand’s aid and development efforts can best respond. Professor Stephen Howes of the Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre will speak on the topic: ‘The future of aid: does it have one, and if so, what does it look like?’ He will be followed by various other New Zealand aid and development experts, and political party spokespeople. Please RSVP by Wednesday 28 August (mostly for catering purposes) to: admin@nzadds.org.nz. Please note, spaces are filling up fast for this event. So if you’ve been meaning to RSVP but haven’t yet, now is the time to do so. You can download a programme for the event here. And there’s also an information flyer for the event that you can download here.

Helen Hughes and Aid to the Pacific
In our last update we mentioned the passing of Australian Economist Helen Hughes. As we noted her ideas on aid and development, while lively and interesting, were not necessarily right. One of the best academic papers contesting Ms Hughes’ beliefs about aid, development and the Pacific was written by Ewan Morris, then working for the Council of International Development, and published as part of the proceedings of the DevNet 2004 conference. This paper has not been available on-line for sometime. So we have republished it as an NZADDs working paper, in a lightly edited form with links to additional readings. You can download it here. Is aid inevitably bad? Do free markets invariably lead to development? And what road should the Pacific take? Have a read!

Australasian Aid and International Development Policy Workshop
On February 13-14, 2014 the Australian National University will host the Australasian Aid and International Development Policy Workshop “to bring together researchers from across Australia, the Pacific and Asia who are working on aid and international development policy to share insights, promote collaboration, and help develop the research community.” This promises to be an excellent event with great speakers. Read more about it here.

The Australian Aid Stakeholder Survey
Thanks to the evils of Microsoft Outlook, the links to this survey were broken in our last update. In the following they have been repaired.

Have you had dealings with the AusAID, the Australian Government Aid Program? If so, ANU’s Development Policy Centre wants to hear from you. They are running a stakeholder survey of people who interact with AusAID. If you are one of these people, please help them out, and please help contribute to a world of better aid feedback loops by taking part. Here is what they have to say about the survey:

The Australian aid stakeholder survey is now open. This is our effort to obtain feedback on the effectiveness of the Australian aid program, and suggestions for its improvement. Whether you are involved in the aid program or simply interested in it, whether you live in Australia or overseas, and whether you are on the giving or the receiving end of the aid relationship, we are interested in hearing from you. The survey will be open until the end of August. Results will be released after the Australian federal election.
You can read more about what we are trying to achieve with the survey in our accompanying blog post here. The survey should take no more than 15 minutes. Click here to take the survey. Please also forward to others you think might be interested.

The End Goal?
Here in the opulent offices of the NZADDs admin division we are not often troubled, in the way that some Post Development thinkers are, by anxieties over whether development is a Good Thing, or not (or even whether it should be spelt with a capital D). However, occasionally even we have our doubts. Most recently on reading Andrew O’Hagan’s beautiful essay review of the book ‘the Bling Ring’. Elegantly written and deeply troubling. Development is a good thing, but  – it is hard to conclude after reading this – that it is a solely material thing, or that material pursuits always bring happiness. Have a read.

Terence, for the NZADDs admin division.