How Do We Help?

How Do We Help?: The Free Market of Development Aid

Patrick Develtere
Huib Huyse
Jan Van Ongevalle
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: Leuven University Press
Pages: 264
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  • Book Info
    How Do We Help?
    Book Description:

    The balance sheet of 50 years of development aid Over the past 50 years the West has invested over 3000 billion euro in development aid and already tackled many problems. Now more and more countries and organisations present themselves on the development aid scene, including China, India, and foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Companies, trade unions, co-operatives, schools and towns set up their own projects in remote African regions. But can each and everybody become a development worker? Who decides what is acceptable and what is not? What is the role of the developing countries themselves? Who can tell what is good aid and what is bad aid? Is it a free market allowing everybody to do what he wants? A market without rules, with a lot of competition and little cooperation? This book draws up the balance sheet of 50 years of development aid and provides an overview of all relevant players, of opportunities and obstacles, of successes and failures. It details numerous examples and information on development projects from all over the world. Readers may be tempted to get involved in development aid, but they will also be more cautious than before.

    eISBN: 978-94-6166-065-7
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 2-8)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 9-12)
  3. Preface
    (pp. 13-16)
    Patrick Develtere
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 17-22)

    Sarro looked at the mini-screen in front of her: ‘Swiss and Edelweiss Air: Flying to Paradise.’ She had just sat down next to me, on the flight from Nairobi to Zurich. Sarro was wearing the same colourful Somalian shawl as the other twenty or thirty women who had boarded the flight along with her. The men and children had shaven heads and wore sweaters clearly marked with the letters ‘USRP’. United States Refugee Program, I guessed. Each of them was also carrying a single plastic bag, marked ‘IOM’, International Organisation for Migration. Around sixty to eighty dishevelled-looking people, on a...

  5. Development cooperation: community, arena and, increasingly, market
    (pp. 23-50)

    Most Western countries have been formally involved in development cooperation for over fifty years now. During this period, specialist organisations and institutions have been created, projects and programmes have been launched, there has been debate about ideas and strategies – the good and the not so good – for achieving efficient development cooperation, regulatory frameworks have been devised, and then further new specialist organisations and institutions created, further new projects and programmes launched, and so on. In other words, a typical cycle has occurred through which a social sector has taken shape, a process in which institutional innovations, a permanent...

  6. From colonialism to the Millennium Development Goals
    (pp. 51-84)

    The complex history of cooperation with the countries in the South has been and continues to be determined by numerous different factors. These can broadly be divided into three categories. Firstly, the international climate and framework always play a role. National development actors (policymakers, non-governmental development organisations, consultants and so on) are heavily influenced by what is said about North-South cooperation in other countries and in international forums. Secondly, power relations in the home country play a decisive role. To a very significant extent, they determine how cooperation is put into concrete practice in policy frameworks, laws, structures, control mechanisms...

  7. Cooperation means partners
    (pp. 85-98)

    Inevitably, national donors have also been greatly influenced by the international trends in development thinking and practice outlined above. Starting out as a neo-colonial project, development cooperation has gradually evolved into a tool which is used to a significant degree for combating poverty. We would even support the contention that the international framework is increasingly determining the standards of national development policy. At any rate, this is certainly true for those, such as the ministries of development cooperation, who started development cooperation as specialists. National development agencies now have to take account of standards, benchmarks and agreements which have been...

  8. Official bilateral cooperation: fractions and fragmentation
    (pp. 99-108)

    Official bilateral cooperation is actually the hub of international cooperation. It still represents two-thirds of all aid flows. It is on the basis of this bilateral cooperation that relations with recipient governments arise, that a donor country acquires experience in the field and that ideas grow up about possible strategies for dealing with the numerous obstacles and problems encountered on a daily basis in development cooperation. Experience of bilateral cooperation also predisposes a donor country to deal in a certain way with its own NGO sector and determines the amount of resources and the importance it attaches to the multilateral...

  9. Europe’s development cooperation patchwork
    (pp. 109-126)

    By definition, development cooperation is always largely a multilateral affair. We have already seen how the national aid culture and patterns in each donor country have been inspired to a significant degree by what other actors and institutions have said or done. It could be argued that all development cooperation is increasingly taking on collective, multilateral characteristics.

    European development cooperation is the nearest supranational level for European donors and belongs to the second pillar of the development cooperation sector. The influence between the levels is asymmetrical in nature: national development cooperation is more influenced by European cooperation than vice versa....

  10. Multilateral cooperation: the UN galaxy
    (pp. 127-140)

    What we wrote earlier about the strengths and the dynamic that have shaped European development cooperation is even more applicable to the multilateral institutions of the United Nations. The UN and the conglomerate of its organisations belong to the second pillar of the development cooperation sector but are more than development institutions. Only a few UN organisations, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), are exclusively concerned with this area. Most UN institutions pay special attention to particular development issues to the extent that they are directly relevant to their mandate and area of competence. Thus the Food and...

  11. The NGDOs: bringing values onto the market
    (pp. 141-160)

    The non-governmental development organisations (NGDOs) sector – the third pillar of development cooperation – has occupied an increasingly centre-stage position in the last few years. The non-governmental organisations that form the organisational core of this new social movement have definitely found their way into the media and become an important source of information on development issues. Governments and UN organisations are earmarking more and more money to subsidise their activities and increasingly engaging in dialogue with the organisations’ experts. Other organised social action groups – trade unions, environmental and peace movements – which constitute the driving force behind what is...

  12. A fourth pillar on the market
    (pp. 161-192)

    In addition to official bilateral development cooperation (the first pillar), the international institutions (the second pillar) and the NGDOs (the third pillar), a fourth pillar is rapidly developing. The mainstreaming and localisation of development cooperation represent an unstoppable sociological process. A succession of new individuals and groups are taking short-term or more institutionalised initiatives which they themselves regard as development aid (Develtere, 2008; Develtere & De Bruyn, 2009).

    Such ‘decentralised cooperation’ can assume many forms. Professional groups set up their ‘without Borders’ organisations (Architects without Borders, Journalists without Borders, Lawyers without Borders, etc.) or their ‘without Holidays’ organisations (Doctors without Holidays,...

  13. Humanitarian aid: in good shape or going downhill?
    (pp. 193-202)

    The development sector has not been immune to the consequences of the increasingly frequent and complex emergency and crisis situations in the world. For example, there have been the famines in the Horn of Africa in the early 1990s and again in the early 2010s, the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the war in Central Africa since 1996, collateral damage from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the earthquake in the Iranian city of Bam in 2003 and the Asian tsunami in 2004, the plague of locusts that was responsible for widespread harvest devastation in West Africa in the same...

  14. The unbearable lightness of the support for development cooperation
    (pp. 203-210)

    Policymakers and other players in development cooperation have a big problem. They do not know whether the public supports them in what they do. Yet they need its support: the government and other players operate with tax revenue, and that is best used on things that the public actually supports. During a high-level meeting of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD (Paris, May 2001) various development cooperation ministers reported that ‘their’ public opinion had increasingly been falling away in recent years. NGDOs and other development organisations racked their brains about the best way to involve their supporters more, get...

  15. Drawing up the balance sheet
    (pp. 211-232)

    Between 1960 and 2010, the DAC countries spent just over USD 3,000 billion on official development aid. Other donors contributed a further USD 150 billion. Aid has represented a very important financial flow for the developing countries for a long time. In real terms, the total ODA provided by the DAC members rose by around 48% between 1970 and 1980 and by a further 32% in the 1980s. From 1993 to 1997 there was a significant drop, and the increase in the total volume of aid resumed only in 1998. With USD 129 billion ODA reached its highest level ever...

  16. Conclusion
    (pp. 233-238)

    Few will doubt that development cooperation makes sense. A substantial injection of aid money can benefit a country’s development, as was demonstrated in South Korea and Taiwan back in the 1950s and 1960s. It can also be deployed strategically and create islands of success, such as the numerous business and technology schools that have been established with development aid in India and have given the country a strategic position in a number of global market segments such as ICT. Thanks to foreign aid, moreover, millions of people live in more decent conditions, are vaccinated against certain diseases, are able to...

  17. Abbreviations
    (pp. 239-244)
  18. Endnotes
    (pp. 245-248)
  19. Glossary
    (pp. 249-256)
  20. Bibliography
    (pp. 257-267)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 268-268)