Podcast: Are managing contractors the problem, or the solution?

Interview with Jacqui De Lacey

Facilities are often misunderstood by the development community and have been subject to a number of criticisms, including high transaction costs, excessive complexity and for adding an necessary layer of administration between DFAT and the delivery of aid and development funding.

In this podcast (recorded with Rachel Mason Nunn for the Good Will Hunters), Jacqui De Lacy (Managing Director of Abt Associates Australia) discusses the criticisms leveled at managing contractors, particularly in the context of Papua New Guinea and the Papua New Guinea Governance Partnership (formerly PGF), and argues that facilities are a tool for solving complex development problems, and that too much attention is paid to the modality rather than how effectively the modality works.

Jacqui argues that there are important benefits to facilities: using a single contractor to bring together multiple small contracts under a single ‘portfolio’ is a strategy which allows the donor flexibility to respond to changing priorities (both donor and host), focus on strategy rather than delivery, and adapt the program in response to new or changed information over time.

Jacqui also talks about the importance of allowing PNG to lead on development priorities, of managing expectations, and recognising that Australia’s ambition in PNG vastly exceeds Australia’s aid funding.

This podcast was first published on the Good Will Hunters Podcast Website

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