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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dutch Africa Policy - On the Right Track?

In 2007, for the second year running, the Netherlands was ranked top of the Commitment to Development Index. How good are the policies in practice?

In February 2008, the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported on its evaluation of Dutch Africa policy between 1998 and 2006. Download the report (PDF, in Dutch).

The February issue of The Broker featured some of the findings and several reactions to them:

Nils Boesen: ‘The point is not whether what the Netherlands did was partly good, partly less good – the point is that the donor community tends to move in the same direction until they discover that this was not exactly working as expected, whereafter they run collectively into a new direction. Herd behaviour, frankly’.

Stephen Ellis: ‘A point often overlooked is the degree to which the development policy of a rich country like the Netherlands has, in the end, to satisfy a domestic constituency. This is the main reason for some of the twists and turns of Dutch policy, such as the decline in support for rural development in favour of other policy areas that appeal more to the development lobby in the Netherlands itself or even to the broader public’.

Read more reactions in the special issue; sign up to submit your comments and reactions.

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