The upcoming aid effectiveness conference in South Korea should produce a declaration addressing the fragmentation of the international aid system, according to the head of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
J. Brian Atwood noted in a debate on Wednesday (July 6) in the United Kingdom that there should be “broader participation” in the international aid system and pointed out the “need for a new agenda and policy coherence,” the Guardian’s Mark Tran says in the “Poverty Matters” blog.
But despite Atwood’s call for broader participation, he “believes that DAC is an inclusive enough organization to retain its leading role in development efforts,” Tran says. He notes that Atwood defended this position by highlighting that representatives of non-DAC member countries are already taking part in the group’s annual meetings.
Atwood has also previously argued that DAC does not direct the international aid agenda. He was then responding to a blog by think tank expert Jonathan Glennie, who urged OECD-DAC to relinquish its control over how aid is disbursed.
Tran notes of this debate between Atwood and Glennie and throws in a view from yet another party, Rwanda’s high commissioner Ernest Rwamucyo, who urged donors to explore more daring development strategies and for them to allow recipient countries to “try things that seemed crazy at the time”.
Rwamucyo gave as example his own country’s experience in implementing its Vision 2020 plan, which many donors have tagged as too ambitious. Rwanda has achieved most of the plan’s targets, he said.
Rwamucyo, meantime, rejected Glennie’s suggestion that the United Nations take the lead in setting the global aid agenda.
“The trouble with the UN is that it is an ineffective actor,” he explained. “Let’s see how much we can accomplish in the current framework. The U.N. can be good in some situations, but not in others.”
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