The future of aid – what's at stake in Busan

admin - November 24, 2011

The next couple of weeks see big international conferences on aid effectiveness (Busan) and climate change (Durban), providing a chance to take the temperature of the multilateral system. Here Gideon Rabinowitz of the UK Aid Network assesses the prospects for Busan. From 29 Nov-1 Dec over 2,000 aid policy-makers and practitioners – including over 100 Ministers, amongst them Hillary Clinton – from across the world will gather in Busan, Sou…

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Will this week’s aid and development gabfest in Mexico be just another boring conference or a milestone in ensuring development works for the poor?

Duncan Green - April 14, 2014

…s an opportunity to assess whether donors and recipient countries are living up to the commitments they made in Busan and are on track to meet their targets in 2015. But will it be one of those pointless development conferences where government officials pat each other on the back in an orgy of self-congratulation, or a genuine effort to tackle difficult issues in ensuring development cooperation is useful to people living in poverty? So far, I’m…

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Ethiopia's lost wealth; climate change adaptation in action; Busan and Durban unpacked; Britain v Europe; who needs leaders? NGOs send emails: links I liked

admin - December 14, 2011

…n to adaptive capacity? Oxfam’s Kirsty Wilson summarizes the initial findings of a big new research project.   ‘Busan is notable for the almost complete absence of additional commitments for all donors (apart from on transparency) and for highlighting the ”opportunities presented by diverse approaches to development cooperation”. … This new architecture for the global governance of development assistance – which might be described as ‘varia…

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Why are international conferences so bad, and what can be done about it?

admin - October 23, 2012

…and economists, (with the odd token NGO like me). What about philosophers? Religious leaders like the Buddhist abbot we consulted in Busan? Psychologists? Psychoanalysts? Avoid academic conference formats, which seem to be the most stultifying. Panel presentations plus Q&A has to be one of the least productive ways to spur creative thinking. Import some of the less cringeworthy methods we use in NGO discussions – groupwork, world cafes, spee…

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Busan washup; lego-relief; supermarket wars; is the Global Fund collapsing?; migration myths; Nandos under fire; economists 4 Occupy: links I liked

admin - December 8, 2011

Nancy Birdsall summarizes the outcomes of a whole lot of talking at the big aid conference in Busan. Headline? China Officially Joins the Donor Club. Another wrap up from the Guardian. Meanwhile on the margins, Jonathan Glennie interviewed Erik Solheim, development minister of one of aid’s unsung heroes: ‘Norway’s model is to pick a few global themes on which it has a “special competence” and expand them globally.’ (pretty muc…

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100 indicators of well-being or just one? Stiglitz v Layard

admin - October 30, 2009

…her speaker at this conference. The last word on this conference goes to the wonderfully serene (and enigmatic) abbot of Beomeosa, a breathtaking Buddhist monastery on the outskirts of Busan. I asked him if he could help us by telling us what happiness is and how we could achieve it. He smiled and told me to drink my tea, and then he would answer. ‘Did you like the tea? Yes? That is happiness.’ He also described happiness as ‘thinking about happi…

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An optimistic take on fragile states

admin - February 8, 2012

…7+, by the way, is a group of 19 FRACAS that has organized itself to lobby for improved aid – a big improvement on donors and others speaking for such states in their absence. Check out its website, which houses this  slightly weird 3 minute youtube pitch to the recent Busan aid conference. And here’s the Broker’s scorecard of how Busan performed on FRACAS – not great, it seems….

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Why Angus Deaton is (mostly) wrong to attack aid for undermining politics and accountability

Duncan Green - April 15, 2014

…ortant cluster of studies analysing aid’s wider impact has narrowed considerably.’ That recognition informs the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (sorry for the descent into aid-speak  – see Nicola McIvor’s post yesterday for more), with its commitment to ‘country ownership’ and ‘inclusive development partnerships’. So what might the emerging common ground look like? Deaton is not against all aid, and suggests he…

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Northern winter, Southern spring + Gramsci rules: looking back on 2011

admin - December 19, 2011

…wer of the G8 officially handed over the baton to the new order of the G20? This year’s aid conference in Busan and climate summit in Durban brought further progress, with China and other emerging economies accepting new levels of global responsibility to accompany their growing economic and political might. With China the world’s second largest economy and largest emitter of greenhouse gases, the north-south frame of the 1970s is now…

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How could we measure well-being in a crisis? Some thoughts from Korea

admin - October 28, 2009

I am currently in Korea’s second city, Busan, attending a big OECD conference on ‘statistics, knowledge and policy’, organized by its ‘Measuring the Progress of Societies’ project. The massive conference centre looks out on a consumerist paradise, including a giant Tesco’s supermarket (everything’s big here, giving you that sense of suddenly having shrunk that you get in Tiananmen square) and what declares itself to be the world’s biggest depar…

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