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Ten years into the Millennium Development Goals: another tipping point?

9 June 2010

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 10 June 2010 05:13

    Nice piece. I agree there is clearly momentum in support of the MDGs from the G7 , however in this economic climate donor-fatigue is at an all time high (especially in Europe). And with the near collapse of the euro, countries are going to continue to focus on their domestic economies and perhaps neglect their external aid commitments. Italy, for example, is a country that comes to mind in this regard.

    But as you suggest aid design and delivery must become more transparent and streamlined in order for the MDGs to succeed. In addition I think that there needs to be a concerted effort to push for debt cancellation (since it had a proven track record in the war against poverty), and a restructuring of global economic policies which keep many developing countries in a cycle of poverty.

  2. Robert permalink
    12 June 2010 11:23

    I got excited when I read, “Are we at another tipping point which will deliver development cooperation back to where it was twenty years ago, with donors unabashedly promoting their own interests through their aid?”


    The US 3D approach.

    China, China, China!

    Australia (from AusAid’s mission statement): “The aim of the program is to assist developing countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, in line with Australia’s national interest” (

    “in line with Australia’s national interests” is a far cry from say: “make aid management more equal to (more in line with) the challenge of the MDGs”.

    Neumayer (2005) identified several common variables in ODA bias, none of which addressed a falling in line with principles of the MDGs. Although guess what did appear on his list…

    The level of GDP of recipient countries;
    the geographic proximity of recipient country to donor, in order to “maintain a regional sphere of influence” (p.401)–the EU actually measures the distance to Brussels, and the US measures to Washington;
    the % of protestant and Catholics–as a proxy of “cultural similarity” (p.402);
    the amount of trade between the donor and recipient country;
    and converging political view points (judged on specific proxy indicators).

    I would say it’s an open and close case for unabashed promotion of donor’s own interests.


    Neumayer, E. (2005) Is the Allocation of Food Aid Free from Donor Interest Bias? Journal of Development Studies, 41 (3): 394-411

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