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Forum for the Future of Aid

Southern Voices for Change in the International Aid System Project

The Forum on the Future of Aid is an online community dedicated to research and opinions about how the international aid system currently works and where it should go next

organised by ODI

G20 Plus - An opportunity for FFA engagement and action

Crisis as an opportunity to balance aid with development finance alternatives
Aniket Bhushan and Bill Morton, North South Institute, April 2009

This piece makes the case for three alternatives to aid: 1)getting revenue management right and re-thinking exemptions; 2) integrating fragmented domestic financial markets; and 3) mobilizing diasporas as an investment base beyond remittances. Best practice examples are presented for each alternative. The article emphasises that the three areas can be part of an overall aid exit strategy. It concludes by suggesting that while the G20’s communiqué’s emphasis on trade and trade finance is welcome from the perspective of effective revenue management, donors should ensure that trade and investment policies do not undermine developing countries ability to benefit from commodity upswings. A key component of this is to track IMF reforms especially those concerning conditionality.

Opinion Piece on the Future of Aid
Chris Roche, Oxfam Australia, May 2009

This piece argues that the growing use of social accountability mechanisms combined with imaginative use of social networking tools and the generation of peer-to-peer communications is starting to play a transformatory role in developing a new future for Aid.

Northerners Direct The International Monetary System, They Should Not Also Direct The Advocacy Response
Nora Lester Murad, Dalia Association, May 2009

This piece explores the merits and drawbacks of three choices facing aid recipient countries in light of the disenfranchisement and hopelessness that many are feeling: 1) engage with international organisations on their terms, often trading independence and sustainability for immediate case, 2) engage with international organisations as advocates for change, investing ideas and effort to try to affect policies; and 3) boycott international institutions.

The Dichotomy Between ‘Donor’ and ‘Beneficiary' is a Lie
Nora Lester Murad, Dalia Association, May 2009

This piece suggests that the global aid system may be predicated on an aid relationship characterised by a one-way transfer of resources from donors to beneficiaries. However, the piece goes onto argue that the international economy including the aid system is one that perpetuates not challenges global inequalities, where donors are the beneficiaries, with developing countries providing natural resources, labour and markets for development in the North. The piece concludes by suggesting that alternative economics offer a great potential to displace money as the sole valued currency and to visibilise the value of developing country resources

Responding to capitalist crisis – extending the debate
Sunil Bastian, May 2009

The piece argues that response to the financial crisis is characterised by two ideas – a) the international system is intact and we can find answers to the current crisis within it and b) the most important thing to do is to rescue , support and rejuvenate capital. There is little discussion, the article suggests, of anything else. These points are illustrated through cases in Sri Lanka. The piece concludes by emphasising the need to extend the current debate on the economic crisis by including the concerns of the socially excluded.

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