New version of WRR Report published: Less Pretension, More Ambition

News21 Oct 2010

Without changing the core content of the original report, the WRR team rewrote parts of it, ‘resulting in more elaboration on specific lines of reasoning, coverage of new themes and more comprehensive analyses’. For this new version, the WRR researchers built on many of the responses they received to the original report, not least the comments on The Broker website, which is mentioned in the preface of the new publication. In particular, the last chapters have been revised, with new sections on the role of civil society, and of gender, the lack of which in the first report received a lot of criticism.

Now that this revised version of the report is available, it might be worthwhile re-reading it. The report is cited as a guideline for future development policy of the new Dutch government. The government agreement uses the term ‘policy coherence’ – without elaborating on it. Many people interpret this, often implicitly, as using development cooperation for narrow Dutch (economic) interests – see some of the reactions in The Broker discussion blog on the proposed foreign policy of the new government. That is not what the WRR report implies, as you can read in the chapters on (global) policy coherence ‘for development’. Nor does the report say that we need more development money directed towards Dutch companies. Instead, it argues for more focus on local private enterprise, to create the necessary economic growth in developing countries.