6 Sep 2013

AusAID programmes in Pacific could be improved - Australian think tank

4:16 am on 6 September 2013

The director of Australia's Development Policy Centre says there is room for much improvement in AusAID programmes in the Pacific.

Overall Australian government aid has increased significantly over the last decade from 1.6 billion US dollars in 1999/2000 to a budgeted 5.1 billion US this year.

Professor Stephen Howes says complaints about boomerang aid, money from overseas aid programmes going back to Australian companies and consultants, wouldn't be made if the aid was effective and having an impact.

"What they're really saying is look, we can't see what these consultants are achieving and gee, they're really expensive. It goes back to that issue: are we getting value for money, are getting a development impact? Are these advisors being listened to? Are they actually achieving results?"

Stephen Howes says rather than having a lot of advisors from donor countries placed around island governments, these people could be brought in to line positions with authority, such as heads of departments, so they can be held accountable.