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Carving Out a New Aid Order at Busan

Posted on 4 October 2011

Laura Lopez Gonzalez interviews TONY TUJAN, director of IBON International, on the upcoming high-level forum on Aid Effectiveness.

MONTREAL, Canada, Oct 4, 2011 (IPS) - Busan represents the possibility of an aid revolution – a time in history where an encompassing, inclusive aid framework may be possible. This is according to Tony Tujan, director of IBON International, a capacity development non- governmental organisation. 
 
In late November international aid players will descend on Busan, South Korea to review past aid effectiveness commitments before writing the next chapter in the fight for better aid. 
 
At the forum, delegates will assess the world's progress against previous aid agreements, the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action – before issuing yet another. 
 
The 2005 Paris Declaration laid out targets to improve the quality of aid and its development impact, establishing monitoring systems to assess progress and accountability. Three years later, in an effort to accelerate progress on the declaration, the Accra Agenda was drafted in the Ghanaian capital. The document proposed increased national ownership of development process, more inclusive partnerships and measurable impacts. 
 
These were a start but Busan's outcome document must go further to ensure sustainable, equitable and inclusive aid, according to Tujan who also co-chairs the civil society platforms BetterAid and Reality of Aid. 
 
While the International Monetary Fund (IMF) uses the global recession as a rationale for continued conditionality, rising powers such as China, India and Brazil involved in South-South development cooperation may be unwilling to permit the continuation of a Northern-dominated aid architecture, he cautions. 
 
With the rise of South-South cooperation, now is the time to pen a more equitable future for aid, said Tujan. 
 
Ahead of the high-level meeting, Tujan spoke to IPS about the state of aid effectiveness and the possibility of a new aid order at Busan. 
 
Q: What are the three main issues within aid effectiveness at the moment? 
 
A: One is that the aid effectiveness targets need to be strengthened, meaning that governments recommit to devising clear policies and programmes. An evaluation has shown that developing countries have better performance in aid effectiveness than the donors. It is the donors, who do not have incentives to implement their own commitments and targets, that have been very slow and weak in their performance. 
 
The second issue is the question of human rights-based results. Donors and governments have accepted development effectiveness but not the human rights content. They have re-defined development effectiveness as a generic term in relation to development goals but these are not interpreted in the context of people achieving their rights, they are interpreted in terms of financial performance and institutional development. 
 
We need a strong results agenda but this should be human rights- based. It is not so much how the programmes are implemented, what is more important is that the implementation of aid programmes clearly result in the poor and marginalised, and people in general, in claiming their human rights. 
 
The third is the question of aid architecture.
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