Author Archives: Terence Wood

From floods to flames in Honiara

Over the first few days of April the low pressure system which eventually became Tropical Cyclone Ita deluged Guadalcanal. The resulting floods saw the Matanako… Continue reading

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Two cheers for New Zealand aid transparency

Publish What You Fund have released their 2012 aid agency transparency index and it contains good news for  the New Zealand aid programme. The index is an attempt to quantify how transparently major aid donors spend their money, ranking donors based on an overall transparency score. The overall score is a composite of individual scores on various transparency related criteria. These criteria range from overarching attributes such as the presence […] Continue reading

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Deterioration of public administration in Papua New Guinea

In 2004, Lynn Pieper interviewed 11 eminent former or long-standing PNG public servants. Her topic: the deterioration of public administration in PNG. In 2010, I came across her report when working on the review of Australian aid to PNG. Lynn’s report had been commissioned as an internal exercise for AusAID.  I suggested to AusAID that they make it public. And now they have, here: a welcome sign of a move […] Continue reading

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Poor political governance in Solomon Islands – what can donors do?

In recent blog posts (here and here) I have discussed problems of political governance in Solomon Islands, along with their probable causes. This discussion was, in part, a response to an excellent discussion paper and blog posts (here and here) written by the World Bank’s Tobias Haque. In the paper and posts Tobias argued that political governance problems in Solomons are better explained by rational actor based models than by alternative explanations in […] Continue reading

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Poor political governance in Solomon Islands – what use rational choice explanations?

What are the causes of poor political governance in Solomon Islands? In a previous post I pointed out that this is an important development question. And, prompted by two blog posts (here and here) and a Discussion Paper [PDF] written by Tobias Haque, I started to examine potential causes of poor political governance. In particular, broadly in agreement with Tobias, I argued that the central problems of political governance in […] Continue reading

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Poor political governance in Solomon Islands – is culture the cause?

It is hard to spend time in the Solomon Islands and not notice just how poor national political governance is. Vested interests wield considerable power, parliament rarely sits, legislation is infrequently passed, political coalitions are unstable, and Ministerial posts are typically awarded based on expediency rather than relevant skills. These political problems contribute to all sorts of development problems, including environmental degradation and poor government service delivery. Given this, a […] Continue reading

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Analysing New Zealand aid trends: a tale of stagnation

For a long time, New Zealand, along with other anglosphere donors like Australia and the UK, was an aid quantity poor performer. An OECD country that fell well short of the aid target of ODA as 0.7% of GNI. Around 2006 this started to change somewhat, with the government of the time committing to aid increases which, while not dramatic, did set New Zealand on a path towards a slightly […] Continue reading

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Should aid workers lead comfortable lives?

In May last year a friend lent me their jeep while they went home to Australia for a holiday. Large and white, it was a development archetype – one of the famed vehicles that signal the arrival of aid workers everywhere on Earth. It was also a god-send. At the time I was in the process of organising permissions for my PhD research, which meant shuttling from office to office […] Continue reading

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