What is the FFA
The Forum on the Future of Aid is designed to encourage online dialogue and discussion on research and opinions about how the international aid system currently works and whether and how it could be reformed. The site presents research and opinions from the South and North about the reform of the global aid architecture. While primarily aimed at encouraging dialogue and opinion from researchers, academics, practitioners and activists from the global South, it is hoped that all the main actors on the international development scene will feel able and willing to participate.
Who needs the FFA? The Forum offers unbiased information and analysis to all the main actors on the international development scene: governments and civil society in recipient and donor countries, and aid professionals in national and international agencies. Wherever possible, it seeks to 'level the playing field', by equipping non-specialists to better predict how changes initiated elsewhere may have an impact on them, and by providing them a timely channel to identify and articulate their interests and concerns. This is especially true for governments and civil society in the South. However, even in large donor countries and international organisations, it is hard to maintain an international, up-to-date perspective on the aid system as a whole, and consider alternative future scenarios for it.
What does the FFA do? The Forum is intended to provide regular, web-and e-mail-based, succinct but authoritative insights on major aid institutional developments as they are implemented and assessed, looking at their possible systemic implications. It seeks to facilitate virtual and face-to-face topical discussions between donor and recipient country organisations and experts, and disseminates their outcomes. This is organised through a few small, geographically balanced, self-managed networks of government and aid agency officials, think tanks and academics, and civil society representatives, which the Forum helps set up and maintain. It also offers the option of customised follow-up research and advisory services to all network members.
Who finances the FFA? The initial costs of the Forum and some of its briefings and discussions are supported through a grant under the existing Civil Society Partnership Programme Agreement between ODI and DFID, which encourages consultation initiatives involving civil society in the South. Under its terms, there is no possibility of editorial influence by DFID in the opinions of the Forum or other grantees. Additional unrestricted funding will be sought from other aid agencies and independent foundations. Specific follow-up assignments may be commissioned on a case-by-case basis by, or on behalf of, any participant, providing all findings are eventually made public.
Who manages the FFA? The Forum is hosted by ODI, the UK's leading independent think-tank on international development. It is currently supported and maintained by Simon Burall, ODI Research Fellow. Contact: