Welcome to Episode 71 of Good Will Hunters from the Development Policy Centre. This episode is focused on the impact COVID19 will have on both developing countries and the aid and development sector.
This week, I spoke on ABC’s Radio National Saturday Extra Program, on the topic of the Pacific and COVID19.
In today’s episode I’m speaking to Fiona Tarpey and Chris Roche.
Fiona Tarpey is the Head of Advocacy for the International Programs Department of the Australian Red Cross. She is also Co-Chair of ACFIDs Development Practice Committee. Chris Roche is the Director of the Institute for Human Security and Social Change at La Trobe University, and a Senior Research Partner of the Developmental Leadership Program.
Chris and Fiona jointly authored an article for the Devpolicy blog this week, titled ‘COVID19, localisation and locally led development: A critical juncture’. In sum, the article argued that COVID19 will force a large-scale transformation of the international development sector, and that this may actually be a good thing for local and international actors in the long term.
Int he interview, Fiona, Chris and I discuss why a reimagining of the development sector could be a good thing, including why restrictions on travel mean that local organisations suddenly have a more critical role to play. We discuss whether the development sector is equipped to work digitally, and subsequent to that, whether local organisations and local governments in the Pacific are adequately skilled and resourced to manage this new workload.
We also talk about the expected downturn in funding for the international development sector, including both NGOs and contractors, before finally discussing what will happen if developing countries including in the Pacific need economic bail-outs. Lastly, I ask Chris and Fiona whether, given the unprecedented scale of health and economic impacts that COVID19 is causing, is there any way that developing countries come out of this better than before?
I’ve also written an article on the support developing countries will require due to the sudden and complete loss of tourism revenue.
We’ll continue to bring you coverage of the impact of COVID19 in our region as well as for the aid and development sector. If there’s anything you’d really like us to address, please get in touch.
Devpolicy Blog also continues to provide extensive coverage of COVID19 impacts on aid and international development, and in the Pacific and in Asia. Check it out at Devpolicy.org, and subscribe to their daily email and fortnightly digest here.
Rachel and the GWH Team