Posted By

Tags

Neighbourliness scores above global benefactor

It has been called, ‘The slavery of our generation.’

Poverty is an ongoing blight on the global community capturing the concern of people across the developed world.

There is no foolproof handbook that can be followed to lift a country out of poverty, but the good news is that across the world, people are constantly learning more about how to most effectively contribute to international development. It is up to all countries to act on the lessons learned as they structure their aid work.

After two years of research, including consultation with the aid community, Maxim Institute has come up with five policy recommendations in its latest report, “Being Better Neighbours: Improving New Zealand’s contribution to foreign aid and international development.”

Put simply, these recommendations encourage us to think about aid broadly, focus where we are sending our aid; and to do a better job of reporting the effectiveness of aid.

Aid fragmentation is geek-speak for “too many cooks spoiling the broth.”

With a small country like New Zealand currently dividing its limited resources over 800 activities, it is contributing to fragmentation in both developing countries and within its own organisation.

Effective help

Aid, focused and given in the context of strong relationships between donors and recipients is more effective. More resource going to fewer places could allow us to bolster the quality and quantity of what we are doing in those areas where we have strong relationships, like the Pacific.

The Pacific is a region of high need, coming second only to Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of poverty levels. It is an area familiar to us and an area in which we can make a significant difference.

Hence we recommend that the New Zealand Aid Programme “increase specialisation” by tightening “the focus of its aid on the Pacific.”

We are not however recommending this for New Zealand-based international development NGOs as they function differently in the way in which they deliver aid and build partnerships.

Besides focusing our aid, there are ways that we can support development in the Pacific, which do not look like our traditional understandings of aid.

Expatriate benefits

One of these is the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme.

New Zealand should look to extend the RSE to help Pacific nations build their economy. The RSE allows workers from the Pacific to come to New Zealand for a few months each year, earning wages that are far higher than they could earn in their home country.

Those wages are largely poured back into the worker’s home communities, providing capital for development.

The RSE also provides workers with increased skills that would be useful in their home countries.

The scheme has proved to be hugely successful, with the elusive “triple win” for development, helping workers, their communities back home and the New Zealand economy.

The Government should look to extend similar schemes to other New Zealand industries to allow more workers in for short periods of time.

Any approach on aid would depend on our humility and honesty about our successes and failures.

Unfortunately, the standards of our evaluations and reporting practices are not up to scratch.

The New Zealand Aid Programme is great at reporting on its outputs, but not on whether or not these outputs translate into intended outcomes and impacts.

For example, they tend to report on what they have done, like the number of textbooks they have sent to a school, but not on whether this work has achieved its objective, such as lifting student performance.

We should develop more rigorous and regular evaluation strategies and report these results candidly so that we can learn from our successes and failures.

Foreign aid is a complex area that deserves attention and care.

New Zealand’s aid programme is small, but it has the potential to significantly assist some of the world’s poorest people.

We should listen carefully to the lessons learnt over the years and use them to improve our contribution to the development of our neighbours.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this story

Related Stories

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement