New Zealand needs an aid campaign–here’s how to get it

As the years since 2008 have shown, New Zealand needs a sustained, coordinated civil society voice that campaigns for better aid. In its absence, when the going has been tough, as it has in recent years, it is hard to effectively oppose changes for the worse. And even when the going isn’t so tough, a campaigning voice would help press for improvements.

New Zealand’s NGOs care about good aid, but it’s hard for any one NGO to speak in a concerted, ongoing way without risking its government funding. A peak body could do what individual NGO’s can’t. New Zealand’s peak body for aid NGOs is the Council for International Development, but it has always been heavily dependent on government funding too–funding which was slashed in 2010, leaving it capacity constrained (and still dependent on the government for over half of its income).

New Zealand needs a sustained, coordinated civil society voice that campaigns for better aid. And it could have one–if New Zealand’s aid NGOs were willing to devote a fraction of their revenue to the task.

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The best laid plans of New Zealand aid budgets

Hello NZADDs readers,

Picture this: 3am this morning in the NZADDs War Room. Someone is crying, looking at a pile of broken semi-colons. A man is shouting angrily, in French, at the OECD’s website. And yet the response is written. The head NZADDs econometrician turns off her calculator and places it neatly in her briefcase. The philosopher in residence tosses his beard over his shoulder and strides out into the night air.

Our reply to Vinny Nagaraj is up on the Devpolicy blog. You can read it here.

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Update: more budget, credit where due, and NZers’ views on aid

Hello and welcome to another NZADDs update,

The Budget Again
As promised, Jo and I now have more budget analysis up on the Devpolicy Blog. The aid budget has also been covered on Radio New Zealand.

Credit where Credit is Due
Having complained about Minister McCully’s impacts on New Zealand aid spending, fairness requires giving him credit where it’s due. And it definitely seems due for the recently announced increase in the humanitarian aid that New Zealand is giving to assist NGOs working to help assuage the suffering associated with the Syrian crisis. Well done.

What do New Zealander’s think about Aid
It has been a long time since anyone asked New Zealanders what they think about aid. So the Development Policy Centre recently funded a series of questions about aid in a UMR omnibus survey (with a sample size of 1124 people).

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An Unprecedented Aid Increase (or not)

Welcome to another NZADDs update,

Budget time in Aotearoa. And the news from our first-cut-analysis of the aid budget is startling: a massive increase in New Zealand aid.

The aid budget will leap up from NZ$589 million the 2015/16 financial year to NZ$659 in 2016/17. A hefty 12% rise. (These numbers are nominal and don’t take inflation into account; but inflation is very low in New Zealand at present.) As I said – startling. Although before you pop out the champaign and start calling your Australian friends to gloat about being the sole remaining regional power you should take a look at this chart.

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New Zealand aid stakeholder survey launch and more

The launch of the New Zealand Aid Stakeholder Survey
On 31 March, I (Terence) will be launching the 2015 New Zealand Aid Stakeholder Survey in Wellington. Last year the Development Policy Centre surveyed stakeholders of the Australian and New Zealand aid programmes. Stakeholders were asked about aid quality, specific aspects of aid programme performance, and the political leadership of the two countries’ aid programmes. What did we find for New Zealand? Are stakeholders happy? Is all well with NZ aid? Or are there issues afoot? To hear these questions answered come along to the launch. It’s open to the public, registration isn’t required, and it would be great to see you there. In addition to me speaking, Dr Wren Green, the Director of the Council for International Development will provide a response to the initial talk.

Date: 31 March 2016 Time: 5.30 pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre 2 (RHLT2), Ground Floor, Rutherford House,
Pipitea Campus, Victoria University, 23 Lambton Quay, Wellington
More info:

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