Waylaid Dialectic

February 24, 2011

TA or Not TA?

Filed under: Aid — terence @ 8:30 am

This is still a statistic I find hard to get my head around but, on average from 1996-2007, 42% of Australian aid was spent on a particular form of technical assistance: paying for advisers (contractors and government secondees) to work in developing countries. Typically in developing country governments. Some of these advisers were paid as much as $500,000 Australian dollars a year – tax free.

Some (possibly even much) of this work really did help (some examples in this pdf) but when one looks at the respective costs of employing advisers and of other aid modalities it’s hard not to conclude that Australia’s aid portfolio had become a little unbalanced. Fortunately, this is starting to change. If you’re interested, I have a post up on the changing world of Australian technical assistance on the DevPolicy blog.


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