Showing posts from October, 2015

Your Cynicism is Not Helpful - We Have to Play the Long Game to Impact Poverty

Development assistance has become so political. It can sometimes be difficult to understand why when the main point of aid is to help people; to provide access to good health care, quality education and public safety, to name the most critical. But lately there is so much cynicism around development assistance because it is so difficult to clearly see where it ends up, dollar for dollar. Indeed some ends up in the pockets of politicians and private contractors, but if that were a rule rather than an exception, the business of development assistance would have dried up long ago. The problem is that there are unreasonable expectations that development assistance will translate into tangible benefits in the immediate to short term. And this creates an on-going (and in my opinion unhelpful) debate about whether development aid should be channeled through government or go directly to those most in need in the community.

The Limits of Climate Change for Small Island States

It is entirely unfortunate that the recent Pacific Islands Forum was held only days before Australia’s lackluster prime minister, Tony Abbott, was ousted from power. Not that the new prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, would necessarily have had a radically different impact on the outcome of the Forum, but one can hope that he would have at least listened to what Pacific islands were saying: the internationally ‘agreed’ two degree limit in the rise in global temperatures is far too much. In the Pacific, the maximum temperature increase, resulting in rising sea levels, would be 1.5 degrees, otherwise, the very existence of Pacific islands is at stake.

Payment by Results Contracts: Are we setting the bar too low?

Denika Blacklock Originally Published in Kanava Global Connection
The concept of a “result” in the development world has had many iterations over the years. At one time, it referred to how many activities were being delivered; later it was about how many people were directly benefitting: number of people trained, number of schools built, number of mosquito nets distributed. More recently, results have meant tangible change. Change in the capacity of a government institution, change not just in the number of children attending school but how their education impacts their life once they have finished school; change in the number of malaria and dengue cases based not just on if people have mosquito nets, but whether they are used correctly and if people are accessing health care in a timely fashion if they do get sick.