Source: CIDSE Advocacy Newsletter, issue 37 (November 2007)
The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness was developed by essentially donor governments for governments to improve ODA efficiency. Yet many see the agenda that has grown out of it as being at risk of becoming the defining paradigm on development.
The impact on civil society is inevitable. Organisations whose roles and activities are not considered priority increasingly feel the crunch as fewer resources are pooled into narrowly defined sectors. This was pointed out by participants at CIDSE’s recently concluded seminar on ‘Changing dynamics and strategies in cooperation and partnership for sustainable funding’ in Arusha. New mechanisms for aid allocation are put into practice with little consideration for their sometimes adverse impact on civil society.
If aid effectiveness is to be understood beyond its present limited interpretation of improving the efficiency of ever decreasing levels of ODA, then the paradigm that has grown out of the Paris Declaration needs to be amended. The starting point would be an understanding that aid, provided in volumes that ensure its effectiveness, needs to be an essential instrument of justice, not a mere compensation for injustice.
See also Euforic's dossiers on civil society and aid effectiveness