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Concerns at changes to Overseas Development Assistance

PRESS RELEASE

Rotary has concerns with changes to the Governments Overseas Development Assistance ODA

“Recent changes in Government Overseas Development Assistance ODA and its support of New Zealand International NGO’s is of concern” says Rotary’s Stuart Batty. Prior to past Foreign Affairs Minister Murry McCully taking office, about eight of the International NGO’s received Foreign Affairs block grants, some 95% or so of the funding available under a scheme at the time called KOHA. The rest, if they wished, some eighty or so, including Rotary, had to go to extreme lengths to pick up the crumbs. The level of accountability was almost non-existent, for many of the block grant agencies were likely to have been deputised to determine what each NGO received. McCully changed all that, and introduced a one size fits all. For the first time in many years, all NGO’s were treated as equals with equal opportunity to bid for partnership funds. Alas, since the change of Government, the Ministry has returned to a variation on the old scheme where up to nine NGO’s will most likely get the vast majority of available funding leaving the rest to go to extraordinary lengths to again bid for the crumbs. The Government has named and invited 3 NGO’s with who they wish to set up Negotiated Partnerships. How they were selected is not clear. 3 more are to follow but their selection process has been made public. “they got the largest amount of Government grants over a period of recent years.” Selection had nothing to do with good development practise or the outcomes achieved from those grants, it seems. And then there is maybe a further three, the basis of selection not yet made public.”

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