3 Responses

  1. Vinny Nagaraj
    Vinny Nagaraj July 27, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Look forward to your response Terence and Jo!

    A personal, and *very* non-official, set of thoughts on why we celebrate small increases:

    a. We work really long hours, and need the smallest (positive, real) excuse to break into dance
    b. Next time you’re in Welly, stop by the front-end of the Terrace and attempt a persuasive argument for a real positive increase in anything and let me know whether you feel like celebrating if you succeed (hat tip: you will feel like celebrating!)
    c. Because, puppies. (No, seriously – even small aid increases allow us to do things like this)

    1. Terence Wood
      Terence Wood July 27, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      Hi Vinny,

      I grew up in Lower Hutt, so I’m not really comfortable with dancing. However:

      Speaking as someone who, in a voluntary capacity, worked with MPs to get the last large aid/gni increase approved in New Zealand, I definitely agree: aid increases are hard to obtain.

      I’d also add that the NZ situation is much better than what we’ve seen in Australia.

      So I’ll reiterate a point I’ve made publicly previously: the aid programme and the minister deserve credit for this. And I know NZ aid programme staff do a good job of turning dollars into outcomes.

      That said, under standard metrics, the increases–while better than nothing–aren’t as much as the casual reader may have taken them to be from your comment. I felt I needed to point that out.

      Terence

  2. Terence Wood
    Terence Wood July 27, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Thanks Vinny!

    It’s great to have engagement from the aid programme.

    Jo and I will respond with a blog post next week.

    In the meantime, I just wanted to make one point now, because it is somewhat tangential, and I don’t think it will make our actual blog response.

    You write that:

    “The last time we reported an increase in aid was when the aid budget for the 2015/16-2017/18 triennium actually grew by $220 million—an event that we did, in fact, celebrate here in the office as an astoundingly good outcome for developing countries.”

    I hope the celebrating wasn’t too over the top. As I showed at the time (link below) the increase was only just above the expected rate of inflation. And it actually represented a fall in ODA/GNI. As we said back then, considering the fate of Australian aid recently, this wasn’t such a bad outcome, but I wouldn’t call it cause for celebration.

    Relevant blog post can be found here

    cheers

    Terence

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