Food Security / UK

Post-modern posses to the rescue? Owen Barder on the World Bank on aid

Share fair day 1 opening session - Owen Barder

Owen Barder at the opening of an ‘AgKnowledge Africa Share Fair’ held at the Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, campus of the International Livestock Research Institute in Oct 2010 (photo credit: ILRI/Apollo Habtamu).

Owen Barder writes in his blog of an interesting recent meeting held on ‘the future of aid’ by the World Bank London office.

He says ‘a common theme seems to be that the public’s concern for poverty and development is stable and quite high; while the public’s confidence in government aid is falling rapidly. . . .

‘A second interesting theme was the tension between more effective aid, and aid which donors are willing to provide. . . . Aid agencies . . . will tend to support a return to the equilibrium in which aid is popular and plentiful, but not tremendously effective.

‘The third theme was the most interesting. [Author] Mike Green . . . suggested that, in the absence of effective mechanisms for global governance to provide public goods in a rules-based system, we are left tackling these problems in temporary coalitions, or posses, which come together outside formal structures and without formal legitimacy. Examples range from the coalitions of the willing which come together to support military intervention, to the vertical funds which have proliferated in the aid industry. . . .

This idea clearly resonated with the group, which recognised the applicability of the [posse] metaphor as a description of today’s development system. . . .’

Barder’s own view is that: ‘[W]e should consciously reposition aid as support to those who are most marginalised . . . and move away from the idea that the purpose of aid is to accelerate economic development . . . .’

Read the whole blog at Owen Abroad: Form a posse? 19 Sep 2011.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s