Syndicate content

Add new comment

Submitted by Jean-Claude M on
Thank you for highlighting the new realities of aid. This will help donors, recipients and observers (researchers, public opinion in donor countries, etc) understand better the many and complex issues related to this controversial topic and controversial policies on it. But, your summary of the key new actors in aid seems to miss some of the main new ones: the diaspora, NGOs and rich people from developing countries. In fact, these three "new" actors may be even more important than all other actors combined when it comes to some countries like Ethiopia. According to a book by your colleague in The World Bank, the Ethiopian diaspora may have recently contributed to their homeland more foreign currency than ODA, FDI and exports combined. This is increasingly the case for many other developing countries. Rich people in towns, local NGOs, churches and other locally funded projects have been making a big difference in rural areas of many developing countries. For example, the community University of Mwaro in Burundi was builit and is operating since 8 years through a combination of funding by the diaspora originating from the young province, contributions from the administrative entities around it as well as tuition from students. No foreign aid has so far been received by this young but growing rural university. Other examples include primary schools, hospitals, small mills for cereals, irrigation systems, water and energy provision, small roads, etc. All these small projects are changing the face of rural areas in many developing countries. They should be recognized for the real contributions they are making to well being of their own people and for the commitment and sustainability they bring to their development projects. Othe new realities of aid include: - Changes in the overall technological environment: more, efficient and ubiquitous communications through internet thanks to more fibre optics, mobile phones and cheap and used computers; more images of what is being done through photos and videos; new and cleaner or adapted technologies for transport, energy, food production, water management, more hygiene and better health, etc. - More knowledgeable people from all corners of the developing world. There are more and better human resources that can design, implement, assess, advocate for all aspects of development in their countries, provinces and other areas of origin. - Some progress in policy design and implementation (diversification) through stronger and more independent institutions. For example, more ministers of mining have understood that they need to transform as much as possible their minerals (oil and diamonds are good examples in the case of Niger, Tchad, Botswana and Namibia). They increasingly manage to resist to corruption and other long lasting manipulations by neocolonial powers. This creates more wealth in the country through more jobs, incomes and their multiplier effects, technologixal upgrades, etc. - More and efficient integration through new regional institutions like the East African Community, COMESA, SADEC, ECOWAS, etc. Freer movement of goods, services and people in those areas will create more wealth and less need for technical cooperation (costly expatriates) from rich countries. This is already a successful case in Rwanda where knowlegeable Kenyans work by tens of thousands, helping the country do wonders in such a short period of time.