June 2014: blog aid series, random news, and the TPP

Welcome to another NZADDs email update,

Blog Series on New Zealand Aid
Our main news for June is that the Development Policy Centre are very kindly hosting a blog series on New Zealand aid, which we are coordinating. The series will contain posts discussing what’s working in New Zealand aid and development, and what could be changed.

You can read an overview blog post introducing the series here. You can read Ed Challis’ blog post on policy coherence for development here. And you can read Jo and I give a ‘glass half full’ take on New Zealand aid here. Upcoming posts will discuss a range of other issues associated with New Zealand’s development footprint in the world. You can follow them at Devpolicy. If you are interested in contributing a post please email admin@nzadds.org.nz to discuss.

Other News and Views
On the subject of the Devpolicy blog, they currently have two interesting posts up on engaging the private sector in development (here and here) as well as NZADDs’ John McKinnon reflecting on participatory development.

Meanwhile, the — rather dubious sounding — New Zealand aid-funded police training project in West Papua, which we have reported on in the past, has been back in the news again. This time, because it has been put on hold. The reason for this is not, apparently, because New Zealand has baulked at the idea, but rather because Indonesia has other priorities.

Also in the news are reports of how New Zealand aid has ended up being channelled to a pearl farming project, which the Cook Islands’ Prime Minister is personally benefiting from, after he — allegedly — lobbied for it.

Last month we discussed the deficiencies of the Pacific Index, an index which appeared to show New Zealand aid as being the best quality of that given to the Pacific. The technical report explaining how the index was created is now available here.

And, file under somebody should tell the Minister, an interesting new study which suggests that more autonomous aid workers and organisations deliver better results.

The Trans Pacific Partnership and Your Health
And finally, those of you with an interest in the Trans Pacific Partnership will want to have a listen to this ABC panel discussion. It starts off examining the impact of austerity programmes on public health, before moving to a fascinating discussion on what the TPP might mean for governments’ abilities to regulate and inform in the name of better public health.

Terence for NZADDs admin.