So, pushed by its minister, the New Zealand government aid programme (along with the EU) hosted a grand summit in Auckland where Pacific countries brought proposals for renewable energy projects they want funded, aid donors brought cheques, and energy companies brought wares. Lots of money was promised. Projects were married to donors to companies. And the Minister proclaimed that the enemy now was “process”.
Me? Well I like the idea of renewable energy. And I like the idea of getting things done. But I really, really, really hope ministry staff can insert a little of that hated process right now. Because the world of large aid funded infrastructure projects is strewn with corpses. A lot can go wrong. Especially if you’re in a hurry. Even more so if, like NZ’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, you think you know all their is to know about aid work. Process — the one thing standing between NZ taxpayers and their hard earned money buying white elephants. My wife and I have a longer, somewhat more considered blog post on this at Dev-Policy.