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Submitted by Luc Lapointe on
Dear Johanna, I think the world agrees that with decreasing ODA, there is a need for finding new source of Innovative Financing. I think that for the sake of innovators around the world, it would be highly unfair to call a "tax" innovative. I think that within the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development, they also use "mandatory contribution. I have participated at a few of the meetings and it doesn't take much time to realize that there are a multitude of needs out there (i.e. health, education, nutrition, access to water, environment, poverty, housing, infrastructures, and the list go one). Which one of those other would also be able to tag another tax on airline tickets?!?! With one billion travelers soon...the potential is enormous but would we have a tax for each one of them? or just the one that lobby hard enough? What will we do with the "orphan" causes? Strangely enough, some people have noticed that the gap left by decreasing ODA is quickly being filled by an increase in Private Development Assistance (PDA). Directly contributing more than $58 billion to the needs of communities around the world as well as providing more than $3.6 billion in professional volunteer time, PDA is definitely more innovative and increases civic, individual, and corporate participation. As noted in a report by the Hudson Institute ".....“These connections, however, do not guarantee results. The challenge for intermediary organizations is that if philanthropically inclined individuals care more about the connection with an individual in need and less about demanding accountability, the success of the collective efforts of the institutional intermediaries is measured by volume of dollars, not necessarily by lives changed or needs met. Without having to produce evidence of change, the private institutional intermediaries could find themselves in jeopardy of becoming like the ODA, accomplishing few measurable results while squandering resources over long periods of time.” We are currently working on a global initiative to address the above mentioned recommendation. More than half the cost of an airline ticket is TAXES....I think it's time to be creative and truly harness the human potential to address the global needs with less government intervention. Governments should focus on creating the climate that will engage people in a meaningful ways outside of paying taxes. In a recent article by David Borstein, namely The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur, David points to the following program called LIFT. LIFT’s approach demonstrates how a human-oriented safety net system might work. Along the way, the student volunteers who pass through LIFT discover that they have surprising capacity to solve problems and help other people transform their lives; many say that the experience is life-changing. He concludes with the following inspiring comment -- Many of us have little idea of our own change-making potential. We may be in for a surprise. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote, “A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born. Nice to read from a fellow Canadian in DC. Saludos cordiales.....Luc Lapointe