OECD Mulitlateral Aid Report 2015: Commonalities with previous reports

So the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its 2015 Multilateral Aid Reportin July 2015. Titled, “Multilateral Aid 2015: Better Partnerships for a Post-2015 World” it evidently describes trends of Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the post-2015 agenda. The report can be found online here or if you have the money, you can buy the report. Or, if you are one lucky subscriber,you can download the PDF. (Anyone willing to do so and email it to me?)

Anyway, reading it online is fine for me (for now) and there’s a free to read summary page. What is of course critical is the content of the report. It contains many similarities with the previous reports in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013. (There once was a 2012 report, but somehow it disappeared or was promoted as either the 2011 or 2013 report).

One key commonality is that this latest report and the others show that aid through multilateral or international organisations has continued to stall, staying at around 28% of overall official development assistance around 2001 to 2013 (see page 23 of the report). Donors have also been heavily using aid through trust funds or non-core aid. Such aid has risen substantially sine 2004. From the 2010 report onwards, trust funds were a key feature in each of the Multilateral Aid reports, specifying the rationale for and the disadvantages for the funding of trust funds. Various OECD donors provide different proportions of core and non-core aid aid with the UK (one of the world’s leading donors) channelling substantial amounts of both non-core and core aid while Italy contributing extremely small amounts of non-core aid.

Not many academics write about non-core aid and it is very rarely mentioned in media circles–you have to use a online news archive like Nexis to search for “non-core aid” or “trust funds”. Yet, as the OECD reports have pointed out

Very busy, to be continued.

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Congratulations Chairman Stephen Twigg

on your appointment as International Development Select Committee Chairman. You have big shoes to fill–former chairman and my favourite Liberal Democrat Malcolm Bruce (Vince Cable was one of my favourites left a large legacy.

Here’s Stephen Twigg’s bio and how he fits in with international development:

–Former Director, the Foreign Policy Centre (2005-2010)
–Work for the Aegis Trust / Holocaust Centre genocide prevention charities including in Rwanda (2005 – 2010)

It’s not much but I like this line:

“International development is not just about aid. That is why the Addis Ababa summit is so important, ensuring the sources of finance available to grow businesses in the least developed countries are expanded. Key priorities include infrastructure, public services and trade.”

So well, he’s pretty new to the subject matter but not a total alien.

Welcome, Stephen Twigg.

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What’s new with ODA and the UK armed forces

Suddenly defence journalist Jonathan Beale is surprised to find out that HMS Bulwark’s operation to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean is paid for by the Department for International Development (DFID’s) budget, or what we development people know as Official Development Assistance (ODA). What’s so surprising?

…. Drum Roll …

Operation Patwin’s (UK military response to Typhoon Haiyan) was counted as ODA and borne by DFID’s coffers

DFID has always reimbursed the MOD for Humanitarian and disaster relief work, even before the 2010 Conservative-Liberal Democrat Alliance and before the cuts-filled Strategic and Defence Security Review (SDSR)–see Baroness Northover’s reply.

Yes, the UK armed forces has been hit hard, yes DFID has an arbitrary target (as does NATO member states), but no, what on earth is new about DFID taking up the costs of HADR work? Celebrate don’t call it interesting!!!

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Good to see Desmond Swayne back

where he belongs at DFID (see also very first phew tweet)

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She’s Greening back in her department

After hours or several days, David Cameron re-appoints Justine Greening as Secretary of State for International Development. The long wait is probably due to him trying to think if he should place DFID back under the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or possibly to appease his extreme right wing Conservatives a bit–it’s no secret they hate the name DFID and even more detest the rigid and outdated 0.7% of GDP/GNI aid target.

Oh well, at least there’s continuity. Greening can continue, not in any particular order, he drive to:

1) Help create a global post-2015 set of Global/Sustainable Development Goals,

2) Launch another Multilateral (and possibly Bilateral) aid review (and her the sound bites from Mary Creagh),

3) Pour more Official Development Assistance into trust funds/”non-core” aid (yucks and yay),

4) Increase the role of the private sector in DFID’s programmes (and attach a we bit of neoliberalism with it),

5) End aid to India (as promised) and possibly to more “IDA-graduating” countries (same as point 2),

6) Place more focus on fragile/conflict/weak states (that would make aid as a tool for national security, will that break the OECD and DFID rules?),

7) Reduce aid to the EU (her colleague Philip Hammond would want that),

8) Work with China on the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank (AIIB),

9) Continue to plan out future International Development Association (IDA) replenishment (link to point 2),

10) and many others.

Any other thoughts?

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Some people still don’t get the AIIB or…

they are dumb neoliberals or just dumb.

Take is crappy forum page article for instance by a certain Mr. Teo (Singaporean or someone from Singapore).

IT IS regrettable that the United States and Japan have not joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) because they are afraid that China has the intention and clout to shape the new world order (“Banking on infrastructure of the future”; April 20, “S-E Asia and the shaping of China’s new world bank”; last Thursday, and “China-led bank ‘to fill funding gap, but hurdles remain'”; yesterday).

First writer, you don’t start off with a clear argument why it is regretable that the US and Japan don’t want to join. Then you write some supposedly omninous statement–“the new world order” as if the AIIB is about a black government. Are you saying China is a “black government” ready to take over the planet” with the AIIB?

This has indirectly cast a shadow on the structure and administration of the AIIB.

What an idiotic line First you say it is regrettable due to the threat of a new world order. But is it to you or is it “indirectly”? Make up your mind!

The US worries about whether the AIIB will weaken the governance, operations and efficiency of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

One, is the World Bank and IMF really efficient? I what sense? Helping to advance development? Evidence? And how do you know the true mind of the US?

It is also concerned about the AIIB’s governance standards and China’s environmental and social complications.

However, these fears have yet to be proven true.

This is call shooting-yourself-in-the-foot. Say it in one word!

China, as the initiator of the AIIB, needs to clearly put on the table the core framework and detailed plans of the AIIB development programmes.

What? You think the creation of an international orgainsation is like a magic trick? How about you read about the creation of the International Development Association (IDA) if you even know what that is?

It also has to identify and lay down how it is going to fairly and transparently distribute its capital and development funding, to allay the worries and suspicions of all the founding members.

Ahem, 57 nations have signed up. How many of them have “worries and suspicions” whne you started off with two countries who declined to join?

China has a long journey ahead and a lot of hard work to do.

Idiotic since it is uncessary.

The mark of the AIIB’s success is whether China can convince all the founding members to cooperate, work and contribute seamlessly and assiduously towards the principal objectives of the AIIB, and thereafter, share the fruits of the harvest.

Wait, do you even know why the AIIB was proposed in the first place? Or are you some dumb neoliberal?

Asean should persist in its longstanding policy of neutrality, non-alliance and non-interference (“AIIB may ‘speed up Asean plans for fully unified economic bloc'”; yesterday).

Irrelevant–see below.

It should not get involved in the hegemony and tussle of the superpowers.

Why? Who are you to say that?

Most importantly, Asean should focus on the core priority of economic development, especially infrastructure development.

Why? And besides, ASEAN has that objective in mind since its beginning. But it can’t exactly reach that, due to the political and cultural differences of each member state.

Nevertheless, I hope Singapore, with its good track record, expertise and experience, can play an active role in setting up the AIIB.

It can help to bridge the cultural differences and communication gap between China and the Western member countries.

Perhaps the regional headquarters of the AIIB could even be based in Singapore.

Wait, this is really weird. You start off with moaning the US and Japan for not joining the AIIB, cause that might be a way to a “black government”. Then, you attack China for not detailing the AIIB’s details, when in democratically accountable IOs, it is not just one state to detail the Articles of Agreement (if you know what that is!). Then you jump to talk about ASEAN with no logical flow. You abruptly then say that the AIIB should be based in Singapore with no logical argument, with a one liner about brining the gap?!!!

Please please, some one write a logical forum letter on the AIIB next time…

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AIIB headquarters location should not like those of past MDBs

While the argument that “S’pore should be AIIB’s regional headquarters” (April 11) has merit, it should be up to the planners and the final list of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank participants and shareholders to decide on the bank’s headquarters.

First the writer arrogant implies that the AIIB’s headquarters should be in a country with pristine financial excellence. He fails to note that other regional development banks, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the African Development Bank, are headquartered in less developed cities such as Manila and Abidjan, yet have a pretty successful development record.

Second, the writer cites Beijing’s poor environmental record for why Singapore should also host the AIIB. That is an unqualified and against arrogant argument almost suggesting that polluted cities should not be centres for development banks. Manila is not exactly a lean, non-polluted city, but that did not stop the ADB from being hosted there. New York isn’t exactly a clean city in many areas, yet it hosts the main United Nations Headquarters!

China, the proponent of the AIIB, will most likely be the strongest shareholder. In my view, the AIIB should not be in a city that of a dominant superpower, or it will risk becoming another International Bank for Re-construction and development (IBRD), or even a International Development Association (IDA). Time will tell though.

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