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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

Future of Aid: Rural Poverty Alleviation

The future of the AID and the economic development effort for developing countries should among other things depend on the overall effectiveness of the effort. This in turn may depend on how receptive the project development process is to innovations, the extent the underlying hypothesis is accurate, and making certain the process does not become overly committed to the mechanism at the expense of the beneficiaries. For those involved in rural poverty alleviation which implies agriculture development mostly for the multitude of smallholder producers, this may need some serious review. The objective of this presentation is to ask those involved in rural poverty alleviation to take a serious look at the overall effectiveness of the effort and provide some guidelines for such a review.

The material is presented in four parts and supported by the hyperlinks to the website where additional information on the four components including various case studies can be found. The four parts are:

First, the development process with the possible four layers of isolation between those funding projects and the intended beneficiaries and how this can result in the acceptance and institutionalization of concepts well beyond their overall effectiveness at assisting smallholders and poverty alleviation.

Second, the basic premise that has guided the agriculture development effort for over 30 years and the oversight it may contain regarding the resources available to the smallholder to implement the technology developed for their benefit, from the demonstration fields to the entire holding, and the role hunger may have in hindering the ability of smallholder implementation of innovations.

Third, how some of the mechanisms, particularly the reliance on farmer organizations, to funnel assistance to smallholders appear to have become a main emphasis even though they are not particularly effective business models and the smallholder members are effectively walking away from them.

Fourth, an innovative approach to more effectively assist the poverty alleviation of smallholder communities by looking more at the communities composed of a symbiotic association of smallholder producers and service providers than working directly with the “maxed-out” smallholders.

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Future of Aid.doc 189.5 KB

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