Saturday, July 07, 2007

Questioning the Paris Agenda and the 'new' aid modalities

The Hague, 6 July. At the recent SID World Congress we asked Gita Sen of the Indian Institute of Management to share some thoughts on aid effectiveness and the Paris Agenda.

For Sen, the key question is to understand what aid effectiveness will or will not do in terms of development effectiveness, because "aid effectiveness in itself has no particular value or meaning unless it actually leads to more effective development." Considering the MDGs as indicators for development effectiveness, "sadly the movement on the Paris agenda and the movement on the MDGs still are not well integrated, in fact they are quite distant from each other."

In addition, the so-called cross cutting themes of the Paris declaration (gender equality, human rights and environmental sustainability), have practically disappeared in mainstream discussions on 'new' aid modalities, while they are "absolutely required to have effective development in today's world."

Lastly, the issue of monitoring and evaluation needs to be addressed: "how and who monitors Paris?" In Sen's view, "a good part of the monitoring techniques of the Paris agenda comes from the World Bank's country assessment and monitor indicators", but it's not clear what these indicators could tell us in terms of social and human development. Further, these same indicators have been criticized for being not transparent and not well owned by the recipient countries. Therefore using them to determine if a country is eligible for the 'new' aid modalities opens "questions that must be dealt with and answered."

Read other views on this issue: Michel Petit, Fran├žoise Moreau and other Europeans; Denise Auclair ...

The Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness

More on aid effectiveness

story by Pier Andrea Pirani