Reforming aid and development cooperation: Accra, Doha and beyond
By Stephen Brown and Bill Morton
The Brief analyzes key policy challenges in relation to aid effectiveness and impact, in the context of the Accra High Level Forum and Doha Review meeting on Financing for Development. It argues that the OECD Development Assistance Committee is increasingly unsuited for the task of managing a rapidly evolving aid system. More seriously, the DAC lacks legitimacy from the perspective of aid-recipients and in its current form cannot represent their interests. In the medium term, consideration should be given to the Development Cooperation Forum as an alternative venue for the discussion of aid management and policy issues.
While the Paris Declaration provides a useful starting point for improving aid effectiveness, it represents "tinkering at the edges" of the major overhaul of the aid system that is called for by Southern actors. The draft Accra Agenda for Action proposes advancements to the Paris process, but is likely to be found wanting in critical areas such as ownership, mutual accountability, conditionality and aid untying. Unprecedented attention to the Accra meeting has brought a welcome focus on aid effectiveness, but has distracted attention from other processes that are more crucial to developing country interests. This includes Financing for Development, which requires more serious emphasis, engagement and debate.