How to Better Engage Emerging Donors in Foreign Aid Talks

    Emerging donors and their role in the international development landscape is one of the topics experts expect to be discussed at the upcoming aid effectiveness forum in Busan, South Korea. 

    Ahead of that much-anticipated gathering, there have been talks and debates about what emerging donors like Brazil and China could bring to the table at the Busan meeting and to the international development landscape in general.

    There are experts who are optimistic of the key role emerging donors, particularly the so-called BRICS, would play in Busan. Alternatively, there are those who are less optimistic, arguing that Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa still lack influence as well as a collective agenda to present before a forum that is still largely dominated by members of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

    To be sure, DAC has been actively trying to better engage these emerging donors. But as Vijaya Ramachandran and Julie Walz of the Center for Global Development say, these efforts have largely been unsuccessful. The two experts note that one of the biggest problems with these efforts is that they are being conducted under the umbrella of OECD-DAC.

    “Given that emerging donors do not want to conform to the DAC model, we conclude that the international aid community needs a more independent forum for these discussions, one that is not tied to a largely Western model of doing business,” Ramachandran and Walz write in The Huffington Post.

    The two recently published a working paper examining existing literature about emerging donors and their role in foreign aid delivery.

    Ramachandran and Walz argue that DAC can function as a “donor caucus within this independent, global body, not the other way around.” Their candidates for this independent body: the U.N. Development Cooperation Forum and the International Aid Transparency Initiative.

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    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.