Skip to content

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

The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness

Author: Roberto Bissio

The report analyses the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (PD) according to the criteria agreed by the Working Group on Right to Development (RtD).
While the PD does not deal with the commitments spelled out in MDG8 (trade, finance, debt, increased aid), it can indirectly contribute to them. However, while relatively minor gains in efficiency could be obtained from avoiding duplications in delivery and simplifying reporting, the main causes of aid inefficiency (i.e. tied aid and unpredictability of aid income) are not properly addressed. There is a danger that the political momentum around the PD might deviate attention from the need of building global development partnerships around the commitments of MDG8.
The report concludes that the PD does not constitute in itself a partnership, as it brings together actors with extremely asymmetrical conditions and fails to provide institutional mechanisms to address the asymmetries in power. Also, human rights, including the RtD, are not mentioned in the PD. While some of its principles (national ownership and mutual accountability) can be supportive of the RtD, the practical implementation of the PD and the down to earth objectives can work in practice against RtD and erode national democratic processes.

To read the full report, click here

Assessing Resource Mobilization and Management Strategies for MDGs in SADC

Author: Charles Mutasa, SARPN, June 2007

In this paper the author stresses the fact that while the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) goals is extremely dependent on financing sources, the capacity to absorb donor funds and implement projects in South African Development Community (SADC) is very limited.
Lack of absorptive capacity has lead to reduced financial support and the use of other channels for assisting regional cooperation. This contributes to SADC’s lack of harmonization and represents a setback to attaining the MDGs and sustainable development in general and tends to weaken aid effectiveness.
The paper explores alternative and additional resources from both domestic and external sources and discusses the challenges to resource mobilization.

To read the full paper, click here

Reflection on the mid-point on the Minimalist/Millennium Development Goals

Source: Ghana Civil Society Resource Center

There’s been a real flurry of activity around the Millennium Goals mid point this past week. Some of it has focused on the way we can push governments to meet the goals, some on appraising the governments’ performance, some rallying the public and informing people of the goals, some critically discussing their meaning and focus.

While it seems to be widely agreed by civil society organisations that the MDGs are not the p ana cea to solve the world's problems, there does appear to be a strong body of opinion that they have provided a framework for development and negotiations and monitoring of their governments’ performance against these commitments. Indeed, even if they were met, the Goals would still not avoid an enormous number of deaths as they only look to halve infant mortality for example. Who decides what half lives? Equally, the aim of putting more Northern donor money into the South will not solve the problems as there needs to be significant work in tackling corruption, strengthening democracies and increasing transparency and accountability of governments to their people, both in the South and the North.

By coming out in such numbers on July 7th (a mid-point of MDG commitments till 2015) – 70 cities hosted events of one kind or another - members of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) showed there is motivation to push governments to achieve MDG targets. Recognising that some progress has been made in some countries, most people are still sorely disappointed with the poor performance of states that signed the Millennium Declaration and made promises to their citizens. Millions of impoverished people continue to live in socially dismal and sub-human conditions without solution or hope. Most countries in the South lag far behind their targets and Northern countries have largely failed to fulfill their promises with regard to aid, trade and debt cancellations. In Africa, for example, 13 African countries (mostly in North Africa) can achieve or come close to the MDGs by 2015 if they continue at the current pace. The remaining African countries have not made any progress in gender equality and women's empowerment, and tens of millions of citizens around the world are still living in an ocean of poverty.

Click here to read more

A critical appraisal of the MDGs Global Partnership for Development (Goal 8)


Seven years from the Millennium Declaration we are faced with the inevitable need to reassess the current levels of poverty, the instruments that are in place for tackling poverty and indeed the constraints that must be resolved. The fact that the MDGs represent an unprecedented commitment by all nations and institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, to implement and realize the MDG goals and targets needs to continue to be emphasized at all stages. Part of the global ability to realize the MDGs is dependent on financing of such development. Aside being affirmed as part of Goal 8 in the MDGs such understanding has also been reaffirmed in the 2002 Monterrey Consensus on enhancing financing for development. AFRODAD has released four publications assessing partnership with the developed world in four countries – Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria and Malawi.

Click here to read the full report

Make Poverty History Evaluation

Consultants Firetail have released an evaluation report on the Make Poverty History campaign.

Firetail interviewed politicians, special advisors, activists, journalists and academics in an effort to see what had made a difference and why.

You can read the Executive Summary here and the full report here.

Voices of the LDCs in Asia-Pacific

In June 2005 the UN Development Programme Regional Centre in Colombo launched the report “Voices of the LDCs in Asia-Pacific��?. The report seeks to give the 14 LDCs in Asia and the Pacific a chance to voice their views and to impress upon the international community the challenges faced by these LDCs to advocate for more development assistance.

A noble effort to end poverty, Bono, but it is misdirected

In this article, written for the Financial Times, Jagdish N. Bhagwati questions some of the approaches and priorities of Bob Geldof and Bono in their public battle against poverty in Africa.

Whilst praising the publicity and 'edge' that their activities have brought to the cause, he argues that they may need to abandon some of their current allies in government, and among development experts who focus exclusively on aid spending in Africa, if they are to reach their goals.

Personal revenue flows rather than government spending that rarely materialises, and a greater focus on spending outside Africa should be part of the solution he argues.

Millennium Development Goals: A Reality Check

This review by Unnayan Onneshan presents a reality check on the achievement of millennium development goals (MDGs) in Bangladesh.

Unkept Promises

Unkept promises reviews the promises and likely outcomes 10 years since the leaders of the world solemnly committed themselves in Copenhagen "to the goal of eradicating poverty in the world, through decisive national actions and international cooperation, as an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind."

Recommendations: A civil society Benchmark for the 5-year Review of the Millennium Declaration

Based on a wide range of civil society experience, this paper sets out 11 Benchmarks calling on the leaders of the international community to take bold and decisive action when they meet in New York in September.

next page
last page

Log In or Join

Resource Categories

Size of tags indicates the number of resources
Absorption Accountability Africa Aid Architecture Aid Architecture Aid effectiveness Aid linkages Aid modalities Aid organisations All regions Asia Pacific Bilateral Donors Budget Support By Region Capacity Development Conditionality Corruption CSOs Debt Relief Domestic Resource Mobilisation Donor Coordination Mechanisms Economic Growth Education Effects of aid Emergencies Environment Europe Food Aid Gender Good Humanitarian Donorship Governance Harmonisation & Alignment Health Hot Topics Humanitarian Aid Quality Institutions Latest trends Latin America and Caribbean Macro impacts/Dutch Disease MDGs Middle East Multilateral and International (governmental) Organisations National Policy Frameworks/PRSs Natural Disasters NGOs Ownership Productive Sectors Public Expenditure Management/Budget Sector Programme based approaches Technical Assistance Trade Vertical Programmes/Global Initiatives Workshops

Recent Forum Posts

  • The Paris Declaration is Gender Blind
  • The urgent need for transparency and accountability
  • Your Support is needed in Egypt
  • Independent People's Tribunal on the World Bank Group
  • South and the future of the world

Suggest a Resource

If you would like to suggest a resource for the Forum on the Future of Aid, please email