26 May 2010

Australia's CID stance confirmed by aid review

12:55 pm on 26 May 2010

Australia's Council for International Development says a review into the country's aid programme in Papua New Guinea upholds the council's position that it relies too heavily on private consultants.

The review found that half Australia's aid budget to PNG has been spent on technical assistance, and that the model of employing advisors to strengthen the capacity of local agencies is not working.

The Australian government says it's already reduced the proportion of aid spent on advisors, and has announced another review to assess their value for money.

Mark Purcell, the executive director of the council, which represents non-profit organisations, says over-reliance on advisors from private companies has grown over time and will take time to turn around.

"The question is can they reduce their reliance on commercial companies in this form of technical assistance. The real issue is does the aid delivered really reach the poor, do the programmes really have an impact in the lives of the poor, particularly in PNG."

Mark Purcell says working with local organisations to deliver aid is effective and cheaper than technical assistance.