6 Sep 2013

NZ aid program suffers for lack of civil society input - academic

4:19 am on 6 September 2013

An academic says New Zealand's aid programme is poorer for lacking support for civil society's advocacy roles in the Pacific region.

Professor Regina Scheyvens of the School of People, Environment and Planning at New Zealand's Massey University was one of the speakers at a forum about the future of New Zealand aid held yesterday in Wellington.

The government has been pursuing a results-based management framework to its overseas development efforts.

Professor Scheyvens says this has seen gains in areas like education and infrastructural development in the Pacific.

But she says New Zealand is failing to deliver in other areas identified by her post-graduate students.

"They're often talking to people working for NGOs, trying to deliver development programmes in the region, and they're finding that they're facing a number of frustrations. There are NGOs in the Cook Islands who said to one of my students that they're really disappointed that they feel like they're just in a role of service delivery now, that they're contracted to do that now by donors rather than actually having the voice that they used to have in the past."

Professor Regina Scheyvens