Friday, September 12, 2008

The Accra Agenda for Action -- one further step towards aid effectiveness

In my work with politicians, business, civil society and international organisations I'm often struck by how few people know about agreements between developing countries and donor countries and organisations on how to ensure that aid is delivered more effectively.  In some cases people say "I have heard about the Paris Declaration, but they cannot recall ever using it in their work.  A new chapter has now been added to this process in the form of the Accra Agenda for Action.  "Ministers of developing and donor countries responsible for promoting development and Heads of multilateral and bilateral development institutions met in Ghana on 4 September 2008 and endorsed the Accra Agenda for Action, to accelerate and deepen implementation of the Paris Declaration

The signatories of the Accra Agenda for Action say they are committed to eradicating poverty and promoting peace and prosperity by building stronger, more effective partnerships that enable developing countries to realise their development goals. Progress has been made, but not enough as more than "1.4 billion people—most of them women and girls—still live in extreme poverty,1 and access to safe drinking water and health care remains a major issue in many parts of the world." But one of the most important reasons why aid is not effective is defragmentation.  In Scramble for Africa the Economist provides chilling evidence of how ineffective aid is, despite all the "generosity of the West" -- a questionable statement, to say the least. The article is a must read.

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