Non-DAC donors and reform of the international aid architecture

Non-DAC donors and reform of the international aid architecture

Aid reform: bringing emerging donors in from the cold

Over recent years, calls for reform of the international aid architecture have intensified. The aid architecture – the institutions and systems that govern the provision, delivery and management of aid – has become more densely populated by an increasing number of actors that are providing aid, making it more fragmented and difficult to navigate for both donors and developing country aid recipients alike. These new actors include developing countries that are taking a stronger role as donors.

This paper details a considerable number of concerns of the impact for new donors. For instance the authors stress that there is a possibility that non-DAC (Development Assistance Committee) donors’ provision of easily accessible loans at less concessional interest rates may lead to a new debt crisis among the world’s poorest countries, and that this may reverse recent advancements on debt relief.

The authors highlight a number of issues including: 

  • Emerging donors provide aid to governments with poor human rights or environmental track records, and use aid programmes as a means of pursuing foreign policy objectives
  • Underrepresentation of non-DAC donors within the aid architecture is a concern
  • There are few incentives for non-DAC donors to provide aid within the confines of the established international aid architecture
  • While some of initiatives have increased the integration of Southern perspectives into donor frameworks, they have largely focused on aid delivery issues rather than on governance reform. As a result, they do not represent an appropriate permanent decision-making medium for all countries to come together on an equal footing.

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