State of the NZ Aid Sector

New Zealand’s non-government-organisations (NGOs) and charities working internationally are active in over sixty countries, and generate about $182 million for development and humanitarian assistance each year.

“Our NGOs go to where the need is greatest. They’re often the only face of New Zealand in some of the most challenging regions of the world,” says Josie Pagani, Director of the Council for International Development (CID).

Results from CID’s latest survey of New Zealand’s international NGOs reveal a vibrant sector active close to home in the Pacific and South-East Asia, and in countries like South Sudan, Iraq and Syria.

But the sector faces challenges. While the New Zealand public continues to be the principle source of funding, providing 56% of revenues, that support has declined by nearly 15% over a decade.

“The NGO model is evolving. The survey shows a sector rising to that challenge, exploring new ways of working and funding, and making new partnerships - both with each other and with the private sector,” says Josie Pagani.

Snapshot of the international aid sector:

  • New Zealand international NGOs generate $180 million to alleviate poverty around the world
  • 56% of their funding comes from the New Zealand public, compared to 18% from government, and 26% from self- generated income (sales of goods and services)
  • Revenue from sales of goods and services has increased
  • Revenues from child sponsorship declined for the forth-consecutive year, while support for emergency appeals increase.
  • NGO Investment was balanced across regions of the world (Africa (31%), South East Asia (27%) and the Pacific (27%).
  • International NGOs are collaborating more, with 63% working with another NGO.
    More international NGOs are working with the private sector, with 69% reporting at least one partnership.
  • Most funds go to programmes in health, education, economic development, humanitarian aid and resilience to disaster, humanitarian assistance, and clean water.

On Monday April 3, 2017 CID held a roundtable discussion to dig deeper into the findings from its 2016 member survey, covering the size and scope of the sector, shared challenges and emerging trends in NGO approaches to development practice, and the state of CID member relationships with key development stakeholders.

The independent experts who took part in the roundtable were:

  • Jo Spratt, Researcher at Australia National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy
  • Dr. Helen Leslie, Senior Lecturer at Massey University School of International Development Studies
  • Prof. John Overton, Professor of Development Studies at Victoria University of Wellington

Listen to the audio from the roundtable below.



For a copy of the survey report click here.