Reverse HIPC mooted for aid liabilities


Donors are positive people: the glass is always half full. It is an admirable trait. And it is the trait that shines through when it comes to talking about how much aid rich countries give, as the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) recently illustrated: Development aid rose by 6.1% in real terms in 2013 to reach the highest level ever recorded, despite continued pressure on budgets in OECD countries since the global economic crisis. Donors provided […] Read more »

Ambitious goals for sustainable development


A distant debate on the global agenda for sustainable development may seem far removed from the day-to-day realities of Pacific island countries, but it is an important discussion and one which will shape the way the rest of the world engages with the Pacific over the next decade or so. It is also an opportunity to get the rest of the World to pay attention to the issues that matter most to Pacific Islanders. In […] Read more »

Papua New Guinea: New thinking on Budgets and infrastructure


On June 5 Sir Mekere Morauta delivered a keynote address at the annual meeting of the PNG Sustainable Development Program. Below is an abridged version of that speech. The ongoing mining and petroleum boom will deliver huge revenues to government that have the potential to transform living standards in our country, but only if the government can fund the right mix of public investments, diversify the economy and integrate effectively into the global economy. Unfortunately, […] Read more »

World Bank talk on Aid Effectiveness


On 12 April, the World Bank hosted a panel discussion to consider a number of pressing questions relating to development effectiveness on the back of the Australian Aid Review, as Australia looks to scale up its its aid budget. Does aid work? Does it reach the poorest people? What are the most effective channels for delivering aid? And how do we make it work better? This is part of the Praxis Discussion Series, 2012. (Recorded on April […] Read more »

Managing the mineral boom in Papua New Guinea


Navigating a small economy through the choppy waters of the global economy is never easy. But it is even harder when facing the peaks and troughs of resource booms and the unpredictable undercurrents of a complex polity. At independence in 1975, when I was Secretary for Finance, we created a mineral resources stabilisation fund (MRSF) to help this process and smooth out resource revenue flows from first the Bougainville copper mine, and later the Ok Tedi […] Read more »

Radio Australia: Poverty centred in Pacific rural communities


One third of the people in the region are living below the poverty line. Poverty is a growing problem for many countries in the Pacific, with approximately 2.7 million people, not having the income or access to subsistence production to meet their basic human needs. Matthew Morris from the Australian National University is the Deputy Director of the Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Economics and Government at the ANU. He has published a paper […] Read more »

Papua New Guinea: LNG to double economy, now for good governance

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The first 50 days of Papua New Guinea’s O’Neill-Namah government have seen reforms take off, including decisive action being taken to tackle corruption, public enterprises being cleaned up, and an 800 million kina (US$362 million) supplementary budget passed focusing on free education and infrastructure. The next nine months provide an opportunity to put the economic foundations in place for better management of the mineral boom. According to the latest numbers from Treasury, the economy is growing fast, including non-mineral […] Read more »

Radio Australia: PNG’s development has never been faster


A conference in Canberra has heard that the pace of political and economic change in Papua New Guinea has never been faster.  PNG is grappling with a new government let by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, along with court challenges, a mining boom and the nations elections set for 2012. Two experts on PNG are taking part in the conference today. One of them is a former economic advisor to the PNG Government, Matt Morris who’s […] Read more »

Crowdsourcing: Fix my road

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Imperfect information on the delivery of basic services make its difficult for policy-makers to manage principal-agent problems in the delivery chain and for recipients to hold their governments accountable. Crowdsourced information can help to fix feedback loops and new technologies and apps are making this feasible. I wanted to test out one of the most talked about platforms–Ushahidi. So before a recent trip to PNG I set up the FixMyRoad website using Crowdmap–a web-based version […] Read more »

Tim Harford: Trial, error and the God complex


Tim Harford’s new book Adapt is essential reading for anyone interested in how to improve development aid. In this TEDTalk, Tim worries about the prevalence of the ‘God complex’ among politicians, doctors and economists in a world where problems and their solutions are multifaceted and complex. Tim is a big fan of adaptation through variation and selection, trial and error, to find solutions to complex problems. His thesis is that in order to get closer […] Read more »

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