/EIN News/ As often the best innovations tend to be developed in times of turbulence, maybe the current one has the potential to lead to new and original reflections on concurrent aid policy approaches of the most visible donor communities. The presently high level of uncertainty, multiple waves of stagnation and increasing global mistrust and exchange barriers mirror to a considerable extent the loss of confidence in present International Development policy practices, and at the same time reflect an increasing collective unwillingness to enter or seriously continue the global (ongoing?) development process.
It is one of those moments in history where the set of rules for the game has to be set anew, and in the past unloved agents and practices have or wanted to have a say about the how. In this scenario Foreign or Development Aid played and plays a crucial role (although not always at its best). Let’s have a look at for example Good Governance promoting Aid as applied by the international donor community. Originally, Good Governance aimed to contribute to less corruptive state systems, increased transparency and a ‘healthier’ community (development). Bring it together with the acute crisis, which goes along with just the opposite: less healthy communities, a drop in transparency and a newly emerging threat for the defined values of non-corruption.
Still or just because of it, Foreign Aid offering institutions (mostly) the westernized Donor Community keep on sticking on the idea of offering Aid by demanding (that what they understand under) Good Governance; at the same time Aid efforts undertaken by the many new emerging market economies tend to be criticized, because they offer Aid on a more ‘just financing’ base, among them China.
Now, if we trust the words of World Bank Head Zoellick, who believes that China’s stellar growth could help pull the world out of its current economic slump, why criticise so harshly the above mentioned Aid practices (of the new emerging market economies) instead of seeing them as a chance to enter new pathways that might lead to a new, shared understanding of what Good Governance is? However, it is worthwhile considering here, that the current definition of Good Governance is closely interlinked with western concepts and beliefs and built up on western specific values and culture.
If a chance for innovation lies in entering a dialogue that encourages a process of mutual understanding in international Aid policy, than the current regression or crises (which are much more than just an economic turbulence of course) might have the potential, mainly because these days of a rapidly changing order have replaced the classical view of donors and recipients and encourages the discussion of new, highly diverse regional development approaches (e.g. ‘south-south-partnerships’/ ‘public-private-partnerships’/ EU Aid programmes or the brand-new ‘global trade-liquidity program’). …
For more information contact:
Natalia Lee Gunther, Consultant in International Development & Founder/ Director of
E – Economic Development
G – Governance
A – Advice