Aid and development for social justice

Development Policy14 Oct 2011Sundar Kumar Sharma

Aid effectiveness can not be dealt with in isolation

Aid effectiveness can not be dealt with in isolation. At the same time a paradigm shift from ‘aid effectiveness to development effectiveness’ is increasingly argued for in international development. An evolutionary approach of ‘Aid and Development’ effectiveness can be useful for expanding the development agenda’s inclusiveness of broader global concerns.

When dealing with aid and development, aid is only the ‘means’ and aid effectiveness can be enhanced by proper allocation of the means in the primary agendas of international concern. At the same time development is the ‘end’ and hence can be enhanced by participation and inclusion of the broader sphere of development beneficiaries in the process. An affirmative approach of inclusion and participation of the excluded and marginalized population in the development process from the very beginning of the agenda setting to the implementation of the projects , can assure aid and development effectiveness.

There should be a broader consensus among beneficiaries, target groups, interest groups and stakeholders along with the donor and recipient communities. The very process should encourage the participation of these groups in international forums for debate and discussions before setting the agendas to deal with international concerns like security, migration and climate policies.

The very process of adaptation to the global risks and challenges is not currently regarded as development. It is the entire process of becoming ready for development but it is not recognized as a development process in itself. The conditions set for the allocation of aid should be need-based and should be led by the interest of the recipient communities. Following this argument, rights to development should be incorporated in a broader framework of human rights. Similarly the right to adaptation can be dealt with in a comprehensive framework of environmental rights and hence the impact of developed economies on the environment of developing and least developed economies should be compensated through the principles of compensation on environmental rights. Security should be dealt with in a comprehensive approach based on human security. Aid in the name of security should not be overemphasized and demeaned in terms of aid for weapons and militarization. The majority of the population is being exploited by such aid interventions and hence there is the utmost need to reform the international aid regime in this context.

Busan can certainly provide a proper forum to discuss and debate aid reform and aid and development effectiveness. The HLF 2011 in Busan provides hope for a new course in development. It can be praised as a greater leap in the course of international development if it manages to advocate for a development agenda based on the spirit of aid and development for social justice.