Busan: Hopes for more aid effectiveness after High Level Forum?

The development sphere is abuzz with anticipation, as the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness is set to take place in Busan, South Korea, November 29 to December 1st.

But previous aid effectiveness resolutions have fallen short of providing the desired impact. One of the reasons for their shortcoming is the following: by looking for identifying a universally agreeable standard (of aid transparency, for example), donors end up with a weak lowest denominator resolution. And the reluctance of some new donors like China and Brazil to increase their aid transparency could set the threshold even lower this year. As it stands now, the latest draft of the outcome document is still very general.

Continue reading

Advertisements

In Honor of the Printing Machine

Hightech stuff, circa 2009. Never used.

Gift of a well-intentioned regional development agency. They incidentally forgot to include a toner – the kind of toners that cannot be found in-country.
The printer has been moved around so much since, that its manual and a power cord have long been lost.

Meanwhile, we shall continue to use this beast’s minuscule distant cousin – the one that spits single-sided papers as fast as if it was digesting them first.

Silver lining: printing is so painful that we’d rather save the trees.

Happy 164th Independence Day, Liberia!

Liberia is the only country in the world to have gained its independence not from a colonial power, but from an NGO. Imagine the implications this has in terms of statebuilding?”
Hon. Amara Konneh, Liberia’s Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs

After claiming independence from the American Colonization Society in 1847, it sometimes seems that modern Liberia is battling to re-claim its independence from being an “NGO Republic”.
During the war’s 14 years, in the absence of a strong legitimate central government to report to, international NGOs were the ones calling the shots; their emergency relief services much needed by a population fleeing their burning villages and pillaged homes. Continue reading

Thoughts from the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding

L to R: Hon. Min. Konneh (my boss), H.E. President Johnson-Sirleaf, Hon. Min. Pires

Last week I had the chance to attend the g7+ high-level International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding in Monrovia.

The g7+ (not to be confounded with the G7) is a group of fragile countries (including Liberia, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and others) advocating the placement of peacebuilding and statebuilding at the core of international development.

Continue reading