19 Dec 2015

NZ foreign aid review positive, but areas to improve

11:36 am on 19 December 2015
A child on Kiribati watches the sunset on an ever rising ocean.

A child on Kiribati watches the sunset on an ever rising ocean. Photo: Courtesy of UNICEF New Zealand

New Zealand has been told to form better partnerships with civil society and non government organisations when making decisions over foreign aid.

A just released report on a peer review of New Zealand's foreign aid programme in Kiribati, overseen by the Pacific Islands Forum and using independent assessors, was an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of its aid delivery everywhere.

The review is largely positive, but it isolate areas where improvement is needed.

The Forum Secretariat's development co-operation adviser, Alfred Schuster, says one is the call for greater inclusiveness in the process.

"That's a point that is coming out very strongly in the report, especially in New Zealand itself, and engaging a range of different types of experts from those within civil society, through to academia, to help New Zealand's own policy and implementation."

Meanwhile, New Zealand's high commissioner to Fiji, Mark Ramsden, says they fully expected that the report would recommend some areas for improvement.

"You wouldn't engage in a process like this if you weren't looking for suggestions for improvement. It showed that New Zealand was doing a lot of things right and the quality and nature of New Zealand's engagement in the region is key to the effectiveness, it is how we do the work as much as what development work we do."