11 March 2011

Aid Effectiveness from Lai Yahaya

Lai Yahaya, a Gleitsman Fellow at the Harvard University J. F. Kennedy School of Government, discusses aid effectiveness. He gives a reasonable list of the same points which many of us keep saying over and over.
1) Where is the aid going?
2) Listen to the recipients, not the donors.
3) Independent assessments.
4) Complete revision of the way aid works.
5) Innovation comes from those on the margins (the beneficiaries), not the giant organizations
6) Influence of government will shrink with growth of private sector
7) Major donor meetings will not "suddenly solve poverty in five years."
Funny thing is that many keep repeating this, but none of those people seem to be the heads of large NGOs. Where are they on this? Is fundamental change possible within the present frameworks constructed by the aid industry? These days it is hard to think that it is possible to do so, but maybe a new generation of leaders could contribute to this shift. Better yet, maybe a better informed class of donors and recipients can let NGOs know that they will not be providing financial support (donors) or program cooperation (recipients) if changes do not take place.