Minister of State Tom Kitt T.D. announces the establishment of the Advisory Board of Ireland Aid (ABIA)
Mr. Tom Kitt T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, today announced the establishment of the Advisory Board of Ireland (ABIA). This new independent Advisory Board will work closely with the Government's official development assistance programme, Ireland Aid, in order to maximise the quality, effectiveness and accountability of the programme as it expands over the years ahead.
The Advisory Board of Ireland Aid, in accordance with the recommendations of the Aid Review, will be charged with the general oversight of the Ireland Aid programme and the provision of advice to the Minister and Ireland Aid management, on the strategic direction of the programme and the implementation of policy.
ABIA will have a key role in enhancing the independence of the evaluation and audit function within Ireland Aid. Importantly, ABIA will have the right to review and comment upon all evaluation and audit reports commissioned by Ireland Aid.
It is intended that ABIA will have a vital function in ensuring that a strong research capacity is available to the Ireland Aid programme. This will enable the programme to fully avail of the network of research which is being done in the field of development, both at home and abroad. As an independent advisory body, ABIA will have the authority to publish its research findings for the benefit of a wider audience.
Mr. Desmond O'Malley will chair the new Board. Minister of State Kitt said that he is delighted that Des O'Malley has agreed to take on this position. He feels that his vast wealth of experience of public service will be a significant resource for ABIA and the entire Ireland Aid programme.
The Minister wished all the members of ABIA well as they take on the important task of overseeing and advising on the Ireland Aid programme”.
Note to Editors:
Minister of State, Mr. Tom Kitt T.D., is planning to visit Malawi and Zambia, 27 - 29 August, while en route to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (2 - 4 September 2002). The Minister will look at the food crisis in Malawi and at the impact of HIV/AIDS in the Copperbelt Provence of Zambia.
Members of the Advisory Board of Ireland Aid (ABIA):
‒ Desmond O'Malley (Chairperson) Former Cabinet Minister who served in a several Governments. Former Chairperson of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs.
‒ David Andrews Currently Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Irish Red Cross Society. Former Minister for Foreign Affairs.
‒ David Begg General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Formerly Chief Executive of Concern Worldwide.
‒ Sally O'Neill Trócaire's Regional Director for Central America, based in Honduras.
‒ Lorraine Sweeney Businessperson. Former Chairperson of the Small Firms Association. Member of outgoing Irish Aid Advisory Committee.
‒ Larry O'Loughlin Chief Agricultural Officer with Teagasc. Former board member of Self Help Development International. Member of outgoing Irish Aid Advisory Committee.
‒ Howard Dalzell Concern Worldwide's Director of Policy Development and Evaluation Unit. Previous member of the Irish Aid Advisory Committee.
‒ Fr. Gerald O'Connor Redemptorist priest. Previously worked with GOAL in Africa. Member of outgoing Irish Aid Advisory Committee.
‒ Jerry Liston Executive Chairman of the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business.
‒ Morina O'Neill Development Education officer with Comhlámh (Development Workers in Global Solidarity: Ireland). Previously worked as a development worker in Belize.
The Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, with special responsibility for Overseas Development and Human Rights will be a member of the ABIA Board in order to strengthen interaction between the Board and the Ireland Aid programme, at political level. The Director-General of Ireland Aid will also be a member. While the members of the Board are drawn from a broad spectrum, including the social partners, third level educational institutions, civil society and the NGO (non governmental organisation) sector, they are appointed to ABIA in an individual rather than a representative capacity.