Ownership and Foreign Aid in Latin America
By Mariano Valderrama
The subject of ownership has become one of the basic principles of International Cooperation policies. OECD’s (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) manifesto ‘Shaping the XXI Century’ raised in 1996, a new cooperation paradigm that assigned a greater role to aid recipient countries and greater coordination of cooperating countries’ activities. In Latin America, as in other regions, several pilot programs were fostered to implement the new paradigm. However, no systematic evaluation has been made of the experiences or of the obstacles encountered and in practice very limited overall progress is recorded. The paper examines in detail and with concrete examples, the situation with regards to ownership in four Latin American coutnries that have signed the Paris Declaration - Honduras, Nicargaua, Peru and Bolivia. Ultimately the paper argues that CSOs have a role to play in monitoring the Paris Declaration in topics such as the definition of joint development plans, demand for transparency, impact evaluation of projects, capacity building and the empowerment of people. However, to have greater legitimacy in their claim, it is imperative that they should also assume a collective public commitment with respect to the principle of aid effectiveness in the framework of their particularities as private organizations. This is, undoubtedly, a commitment that has to arise in the very ambit of civil society, rather than within the framework of an offi cial state inspectorate.
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