Professor to Chair NZ Aid programme

25 February 2015
Prof Saville Kushner
Professor Saville Kushner

Professor Saville Kushner has been appointed to Chair the Evaluation and Research Board of the International Development Group’s (IDG) New Zealand Aid Programme.

The New Zealand Aid Programme is the New Zealand Government's international aid and development programme managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

As Chair, Saville will co-ordinate the work of a panel of external experts and International Development Group senior managers, which provides advice on the effectiveness of the New Zealand overseas aid programme.

Much of the programme is focused on the Pacific Region, but International Development Group also has a footprint in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Professor Kushner says, "it was recently calculated that the greater majority of poor people live in middle-income countries, and poverty is rising rapidly in high-income countries. Still, extreme poverty is an affliction of the poorest countries. This is a complex and exciting time to be so closely involved in New Zealand's development programme". 

Professor Kushner is a theorist and practitioner of educational and programme evaluation. He is a specialist in evaluation case study and his work covers many areas of public sector. He has conducted and directed programme evaluation in many diverse fields including international development, social work, policing and police training and higher (tertiary) education.

Between 2005 and 2007 Saville worked as Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for UNICEF in Latin America & Caribbean and as Regional Manager for DevInfo(LAC), where he developed a Democratic Evaluation and Case Study to support interventions for children's rights.

For much of his career Saville worked at CARE, University of East Anglia as part of a Transatlantic group that, throughout the 1970s and 1980s was developing Democratic and Responsive approaches to program and curriculum evaluation. His major contribution to the field came with his book (Sage, 2000; Morata, 2003) Personalising Evaluation in which he argues that evaluation serves democracy best where it looks at how social programs fit into people's lives and work, rather than how people fit into programs.

Other external members of the Evaluation and Research Board are Professor Robert Picciotto (London University, and ex-Vice President of the World Bank), Professor John Overton (Victoria University) and one other member who is yet to be appointed.