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Friday, 15 September

13:30

Party promises for international development: New Zealand election 2017 Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre

In a few days New Zealanders go to the polls. Here, I blogged about action needed to improve New Zealands international development efforts. I then wrote to each political party and asked them what their election commitments were for international development. Below I assess party policies, including a table of their pledges on refugees and climate change. I conclude reflecting upon the state of foreign policy thinking amongst New Zealand political parties.

To summarise the quality of the policies, the Green and Labour Party policies are the best. The Opportunities Party (TOP) makes a decent effort, while New Zealand First and the ACT Party policies are rudimentary. The Mori Party have no foreign affairs policy on their website, but they at least acknowledged my query. The National Party comes last because they have no policy online and did not respond to me. To be fair, New Zealand First did not acknowledge my inquiry either, but they at least have information online. I did not correspond with United Future or Mana. The former has no policy, and the latters foreign relations policy centres on indigenous peoples.

While the Green Party Global Affairs policy lays the foundation for their international development promises, Barry Coates, the Green Partys global affairs spokesperson, provided detail in correspondence with me. The Green Party would ensure aid analysis prioritises the poor, legislate for aids poverty reduction purpose, increase aid to 0.7% of GNI within four years, and shape aid to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Aid activities would be designed based on country context,and capacity development needs. The Greens pledge to reform and strengthen global governance entities. In terms of accountability, the Greens would restore a mechanism within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for getting direct development advice to the Minister. Climate finance would be new and additional to existing aid.

The Labour Party gets points for having a specific overseas development policy. Similar to efforts in the United Kingdom (for example), Labour offers to explore setting-up a political volunteers scheme to foster politicians engagement with international development. They would also fund education in New Zealand about development a welcome commitment. Labour would focus the Aid Programme on poverty elimination and ensure the Pacific Divi...

09:11

GOD WILL PAVE A WAY FOR ME TO SAVE THIS NATION FROM THE WOLVES PNGBLOGS

by DON POMB POLYE
My fellow PNGeans! Let me express to you all my profound gratitude for your steadfast solidarity to me during the 2017 elections and my 15 years as a member of your Parliament! My seat was robbed but my leadership is God-given which I love to play in any position or status my creator places me!
My loss, thence suffering, or, my win thus rejoicing, and whatever, that befalls me is all to illustrate God's purpose in the humanity of our young nationhood. Every one of us was designed and manufactured through the assembly line of life experiences to live and fulfil the purpose of our Maker! Our God!
Our personal seasonal experiences in life are allowed us to test our steadfastness in living uprightly and Godly. Living in uprightness and Godliness, in Practicably and genuinely combating all forms of evils, threats and set - backs to what is good and righteous are God"s Purpose!!! Everyone in PNG was created to live and promote this purpose...and non-other!
To deviate from this heavenly intended purpose is a choice one makes....over time. I definitely would hate to see our nation deviating from that Heavenly purpose! We must all abhor and oppose all elements of evil making our nation follow after materialism in place of leading PNG to seeking this Divine purpose!
We must be selfish and rebellious to perpetuate a character ungodly and personalise issues for our own gratification which is a direct defiance to serving God's purpose!!!
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06:30

What can Australia do to help with elections in PNG? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

For decades Australia has been at the centre of international efforts to improve elections in Papua New Guinea. Australia has spent almost US$60 million since 2002. Despite this, the 2017 elections were blighted by a frightening pack of problems. Given PNGs electoral woes it is tempting to conclude aid hasnt helped. Tempting, but mistaken. Elections may not be good in PNG but good is not the right yardstick for aid success in this area. The appropriate yardstick is vis--vis a counterfactual of no international help. As I described in my first post, Papua New Guineas domestic political economy produces forces that are at odds with well-run elections. As I discuss in this paper, international engagement has served as a countervailing force against these. Because of this, it is very likely that elections in PNG would be worse still without Australian involvement.

This doesnt mean that Australian efforts cant be improved though. Here are some suggestions. Because this is a blog post they are, by necessity, broad. I hope many others will offer a lot more in coming months; for now, treat these ideas as a start.

First up, recognise the road to the next elections starts today. Improving them will be an ongoing effort. It will require engagement, pressure and assistance, every year from now to 2022. The chart below shows my estimates of Australian aid spending devoted to elections in PNG since 2002 (data and sources here). As you can see, the post-2012 effort was inconsistent and less than previous elections. This isnt the aid programs fault. In between aid cuts and the death of AusAID, it was a tumultuous time. Even so, theres still a lesson from 2017: improving elections requires substantial, sustained engagement. It requires staff devoted to the task and it requires the steady accumulation of contextual knowledge.

Estimated Australian aid for elections 2002-2017

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