In our monthly guest exploration of everything development, guest blogger Paul Ronands (former Deputy CEO of World Vision) looks at Aid Effectiveness.
Paul Ronalds says:
At the program level, there is a real opportunity to better target Australia’s aid and leverage it through increased coordination with other regional bilateral donors and non-government aid and development actors. The MDGs provides a very useful basis for this, especially among our neighbours where so many MDG goals are unlikely to be met.
We also need to re-think how our aid is delivered. Around 65% of Australia’s aid program is delivered by for-profit contractors while only around 5% is delivered by NGOs. Is this the right balance? A number of studies suggest that for addressing basic needs, NGOs are more cost effective. And what about increased use of international organisations like the Global Fund?
A significant proportion of Australia’s aid in the Pacific has been targeted at institution building. Does there needs to be a re-balance here too? While top down institution building is important, surely it needs to be accompanied by activities that build grass roots demand for good governance.
What about the global governance of aid? There are now approximately 225 bilateral and 242 multilateral agencies funding over 35,000 activities each year. Who should lead? The UN? The Development Assistance Commission made of wealth country donors? What about the G20? And what should be the role of non-state actors like NGOs in all of this, given that in places like Afghanistan they provide 80% of services?
There are no easy answers to some of these conundrums – I look forward to your comments in the online discussion!
Paul Ronalds worked for World Vision Australia for six years. He is the author of the Change Imperative: Creating a Next Generation NGO, published earlier this year. The views expressed are the author’s personal views and should not be attributed to any other organisation.