The way forward for NZ’s International Aid and Development Programme

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New Zealand’s international development programme has undergone two significant changes of direction and structure under the last two governments. In 2002 the Labour Government created NZAID, a semi-autonomous body designed to deliver a people-focussed programme of long-term sustainable development and poverty reduction with a strong emphasis on partnerships. NZAID employed more development specialists and there was a stronger focus on programme evaluation and outcomes. In 2009 the National government closed NZAID, re-absorbed the aid programme into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and refocused it on economic development.
Dr Jo Spratt from New Zealand Aid and Development Dialogues (NZADDs) says that the shift was designed to boost New Zealand exports, and align New Zealand’s Official Development Assistance with efforts to advertise, brand and sell New Zealand across the world. She said that by 2018, 45% of the aid programme (p. 7) is projected to be spent on the economic and productive sectors, taking funding from the social and environmental aspects of sustainable development in partner countries. But with a new government, Jo says there are new opportunities to reshape New Zealand’s ODA to better achieve sustainable development for all.
Professor John Overton from Victoria University’s School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences has argued that the focus on short term economic growth is not a good way to measure an aid programme and he says “New Zealand’s aid in the Pacific has demonstrated that it is long-term commitment to building social and human - as well as economic - capital that produces durable measures and beneficial development outcomes”
Dr Peter Adams, the former Executive Director of NZAID has said that a genuine "hand up" occurs in a people-focused aid program based on trusted partnerships, with poverty alleviation as its primary goal and effective development as its outcome, not one which is largely driven by "national interest". He has called for an independent review of our aid programme. “In an age when reality can be drowned by ‘truthiness’ and ‘alternative facts’, it is important to examine what was successful and what was not.”
Peter, John and Jo will discuss the past present and future of NZ’s aid programme. The meeting will be chaired by Pat Webster.
When
April 24th, 2018 5:30 PM   through   7:30 PM
Location
Loaves and Fishes Hall
Down the carpark beside the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul
Corner of Hill and Molesworth Streets
Wellington, WGN
New Zealand

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