In line with all these discussions about AusAID effectiveness, I’ve been reading through some of the good articles on the Development Policy blog and I came across this one in particular about how accurate statistics for Aid donors are more a myth than fact in the foreign aid business.
So how do we get accurate statistics on our large and diverse country with its odd 6 million people? Well give us a carrot, that’s how.
Let’s face it, if half the things we complain about or go on strike for or steal for in PNG is because of the need for more money so why doesn’t the government just put everyone on the dole? I mean we’re already going to be starting with free education next year.
What’s that you say? We can’t afford it? Pft…of course we can, we’ll use some foreign aid money to help. ADB and the Australian government will be supporting a $24 million Microfinance Expansion Project which will end in 2017. Add on some LNG equity money after 2014 and we’ll all be set to getting our struggling underclass on the dole.
Now back to how we can get accurate statistics on our PNG population. We simply tell everyone that needs or wants the money that they can get it all for free but they have to come visit a government officer who will gather all their personal details and biometric data. This is obviously touching on the ID system for the PNG population which has been brought up time and time again. But this time we make it voluntary but with a big carrot attached so that we can get peoples personal information.
What I am thinking is that every man and his dog will sign up whether they need it or not, which means more info on each person. But what’s important about the information and biometric data will be information like who’s related to who for land issues with resource owners and more importantly health information. Ideally it would be nice to have something close to what India is doing for biometric data collection.
Maybe in the long run the accurate statistics will be worth the money spent on the dole.