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How Do We Help?

The Free Market of Development Aid

Patrick Develtere

Publication Year: 2012

The balance sheet of 50 years of development aid Over the past 50 years the West has invested over 3000 billion euro in development aid and already tackled many problems. Now more and more countries and organisations present themselves on the development aid scene, including China, India, and foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Companies, trade unions, co-operatives, schools and towns set up their own projects in remote African regions. But can each and everybody become a development worker? Who decides what is acceptable and what is not? What is the role of the developing countries themselves? Who can tell what is good aid and what is bad aid? Is it a free market allowing everybody to do what he wants? A market without rules, with a lot of competition and little cooperation? This book draws up the balance sheet of 50 years of development aid and provides an overview of all relevant players, of opportunities and obstacles, of successes and failures. It details numerous examples and information on development projects from all over the world. Readers may be tempted to get involved in development aid, but they will also be more cautious than before.

Published by: Leuven University Press


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pp. 1-2

Title Page, Copyright, Quote. Contents

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pp. 3-12

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pp. 13-16

Development cooperation has existed for around fifty years. In 1958, a great many countries were on the eve of independence, and the high-profile Treaty of Rome was coming into force, mapping out a new course towards a more unified Europe. The Treaty also laid the basis for continuing work with the ex-colonies over many decades. ...

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pp. 17-22

Sarro looked at the mini-screen in front of her: ‘Swiss and Edelweiss Air: Flying to Paradise.’ She had just sat down next to me, on the flight from Nairobi to Zurich. Sarro was wearing the same colourful Somalian shawl as the other twenty or thirty women who had boarded the flight along with her. ...

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Development cooperation: community, arena and, increasingly, market

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pp. 23-50

Most Western countries have been formally involved in development cooperation for over fifty years now. During this period, specialist organisations and institutions have been created, projects and programmes have been launched, there has been debate about ideas and strategies – the good and the not so good – for achieving efficient development cooperation, ...

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From colonialism to the Millennium Development Goals

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pp. 51-84

The complex history of cooperation with the countries in the South has been and continues to be determined by numerous different factors. These can broadly be divided into three categories. Firstly, the international climate and framework always play a role. ...

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Cooperation means partners

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pp. 85-98

Inevitably, national donors have also been greatly influenced by the international trends in development thinking and practice outlined above. Starting out as a neo-colonial project, development cooperation has gradually evolved into a tool which is used to a significant degree for combating poverty. ...

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Official bilateral cooperation: fractions and fragmentation

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pp. 99-108

Official bilateral cooperation is actually the hub of international cooperation. It still represents two-thirds of all aid flows. It is on the basis of this bilateral cooperation that relations with recipient governments arise, that a donor country acquires experience in the field and that ideas grow up about possible strategies for dealing with the numerous obstacles ...

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Europe’s development cooperation patchwork

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pp. 109-126

By definition, development cooperation is always largely a multilateral affair. We have already seen how the national aid culture and patterns in each donor country have been inspired to a significant degree by what other actors and institutions have said or done. ...

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Multilateral cooperation: the UN galaxy

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pp. 127-140

What we wrote earlier about the strengths and the dynamic that have shaped European development cooperation is even more applicable to the multilateral institutions of the United Nations. The UN and the conglomerate of its organisations belong to the second pillar of the development cooperation sector but are more than development institutions. ...

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The NGDOs: bringing values onto the market

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pp. 141-160

The non-governmental development organisations (NGDOs) sector – the third pillar of development cooperation – has occupied an increasingly centre-stage position in the last few years. The non-governmental organisations that form the organisational core of this new social movement have definitely found their way into the media ...

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A fourth pillar on the market

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pp. 161-192

In addition to official bilateral development cooperation (the first pillar), the international institutions (the second pillar) and the NGDOs (the third pillar), a fourth pillar is rapidly developing. The mainstreaming and localisation of development cooperation represent an unstoppable sociological process. ...

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Humanitarian aid: in good shape or going downhill?

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pp. 193-202

The development sector has not been immune to the consequences of the increasingly frequent and complex emergency and crisis situations in the world. For example, there have been the famines in the Horn of Africa in the early 1990s and again in the early 2010s, the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the war in Central Africa since 1996, ...

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The unbearable lightness of the support for development cooperation

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pp. 203-210

Policymakers and other players in development cooperation have a big problem. They do not know whether the public supports them in what they do. Yet they need its support: the government and other players operate with tax revenue, and that is best used on things that the public actually supports. ...

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Drawing up the balance sheet

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pp. 211-232

Between 1960 and 2010, the DAC countries spent just over USD 3,000 billion on official development aid. Other donors contributed a further USD 150 billion. Aid has represented a very important financial flow for the developing countries for a long time. ...

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pp. 233-238

Few will doubt that development cooperation makes sense. A substantial injection of aid money can benefit a country’s development, as was demonstrated in South Korea and Taiwan back in the 1950s and 1960s. It can also be deployed strategically and create islands of success, such as the numerous business and technology schools that have been established ...


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pp. 239-244


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pp. 245-248


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pp. 249-256


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pp. 257-267

Back Cover

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p. 268-268

E-ISBN-13: 9789461660657
Print-ISBN-13: 9789058679024

Page Count: 264
Publication Year: 2012