What is happening to Official Development Assistance?

Apr 08, 2009

Perplexed by the debates and transformations in official development assistance? Can’t tell your Paris declaration from Accra? And wondering where China and private foundations fit into all of this? Aa nice paper just published by Jean-Michel Severino and Olivier Ray for the Center for Global Development will help you make more sense.

Here’s how they summarise the paper.

We describe a transformation of official development assistance (ODA) into a global public policy whose objectives, instruments and actors are profoundly different from the ones that characterized development aid only ten to fifteen years ago. In summary:

Indeed the world of international development assistance is undergoing three concomitant revolutions,which concur to the emergence of a truly global policy. First, it is living through a diversification of the goals it is asked to pursue: to its traditional objective of ushering economic convergence between less and more developed economies have progressively been adjoined those of financing basic human entitlements and protecting global public goods. Secondly, faced with this new array of challenges, the world of development aid has demonstrated an impressive capacity to increase the number and diversity of its players – thus generating a governance conundrum for this eminently fragmented global policy. Thirdly, the instruments used by this expanding array of actors to achieve a broader range of policy objectives have themselves mushroomed, in the wake of innovations in mainstream financial markets.

Click here to download the paper.

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