asia pacific access


development and capacity building

About Us

Asia Pacific Access (APA) is an international consultancy with over 23 years of development assistance experience focussed mainly on China, but inclusive of Mongolia and DPRK (North Korea). APA delivers project design, management and monitoring and evaluation (M & E) services for international donor-financed projects. Our specialties are poverty reduction, gender equity, institutional analysis, capacity building, social assessment and equitable resettlement. Furthermore, given China\s growing pool of professional domestic consultants, we locate, manage, mentor and field appropriate domestic consultants for projects and edit final reports.
APA Team
China-based owners and managers, Shelley Warner and Tony Voutas, each have more than 21 years professional and personal experience on-site in China. Shelley served 18 years as a diplomat with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with two postings to China (1973-75 and 1986-89, the latter as Political and Economic Counsellor)) and also a posting to the Philippines (1981-84). For the full five year term of Australia's first Governance program in China and Mongolia (1998-2003) she served as its in-China manager. Tony's direct development assistance work includes 12 years in Papua New Guinea, 2 years in AusAid HQ, 4 years in the Asian Development Bank (Manila) and for the last two and a half decades most of his time in China.
The APA Team's Motivation and Key Principles:
Our motivation derives from Shelley and Tony's early adulthood experiences in less developed countries: Shelley in China and Indochina; Tony in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. It was quirks in history that gave the citizens of Western countries their full gambit of opportunities and life styles while leaving the Third World trailing behind. More recently Professor Jared Diamond has summed these quirks up in his book "Guns, Germs and Steel". The largely immoral nature of these quirks creates an imperative for us lucky ones to transfer knowledge and provide practical pathways for self reliance to those who are much less well off. It is also salutary to realise that, but for germs, germs and steel, we westerners may have been today's poor hoping that those in non-western countries would have enough charity, and wisdom to use that charity wisely, to assist us. We sharpen our sensitivity to widening opportunities for the poor and disadvantaged by rationally and emotionally envisaging ourselves to be in their deprived situation. Motivation is the driver, but adding value to the outcomes and impact of development assistance projects is our key operating principle. The detail tactics which support this principle vary with the context. In the current China context these tactics include:

  • ensuring that the recipient and partner organisations that will be making things happen on the ground have the same expectations about the project as the donor and are committed to making their full contribution in terms of the quantity, quality and timing of resource allocations;


  • ensuring that interventions/facilitation which the APA team can control or largely influence are based on full, up-to-date knowledge of the situation;


  • where APA is responsible for selecting consultant teams, selecting professionals whom APA knows from its experience and contacts will form natural, cooperative teams;


  • reporting honestly and constructively without any sanitising of critical or bad news; and,


  • facilitating optimum cooperation and productivity between international and domestic consultants.



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