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NZAID’s effectiveness needs to be recognised

NZAID’s effectiveness needs to be recognised

Suggestions by some MPs to delay funding increases to the government aid and development agency NZAID fail to take into account the effectiveness of its actual work, says David Culverhouse, executive director for the Council for International Development.

“It needs to be kept in mind that the recent report from the Office of Auditor General focuses on the administration of aid programmes, not the widely acknowledged effectiveness of New Zealand’s programmes in delivering outcomes on the ground.”

“NZAID is to be highly commended, in that they have got on with the job of poverty alleviation in New Zealand’s backyard, rather than waiting until a fully functional paper trail is established. Human needs in the region are urgent and real. Delays have a very high human cost and, in the event of further social conflict, a huge monetary cost to New Zealand from the deployment of further peacekeeping forces.”

“We need to be very clear – the auditor’s report on NZAID does not suggest New Zealand aid money has been wrongly spent or wasted, but rather that there is a lack of proof that management systems are fully robust. The report’s concerns that overseas posts are understaffed and that staff lack sufficient training cannot be addressed by cutting back on funding.”

“In very difficult areas of the world, it takes time to build up systems and accounting capacity, and while the report correctly stresses that NZAID must further improve its monitoring and evaluating of funding arrangements in particular, it needs to be resourced to do this and we are pleased it has not sat on its hands in inactivity waiting for the systems to catch up.”

“There is a danger of NZAID being reviewed and audited to death and its very valuable work suffering as a result,” says Mr Culverhouse.


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