Whose aid? Whose influence? China, emerging donors and the silent revolution in development assistance

Whose aid? Whose influence? China, emerging donors and the silent revolution in development assistance

The term ‘emerging donors’ is used as a shorthand to contrast states such as China, India and Brazil with members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC), who are also referred to as ‘established donors’. This article analyses the background against which these emerging donors are increasing their aid and what has happened to the pledges by donors to increase aid, reduce conditionalities, enhance coordination and alignment, and reform the aid architecture. The conclusions point out that emerging donors are not overtly attempting either to overturn the rules of multilateral development assistance or to replace them. Rather, they are offering alternatives to aid-receiving countries, thus weakening the bargaining position of western donors, and exposing standards and processes that are out of date and ineffectual. The result is a serious challenge to the existing multilateral development assistance regime.

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