Development Co-operation Report 2023

Debating the Aid System

image of Development Co-operation Report 2023

In the last three years, multiple global crises and the growing urgency of containing climate change have put current models of development co-operation to, perhaps, their most radical test in decades. The goal of a better world for all seems harder to reach, with new budgetary pressures, demands to provide regional and global public goods, elevated humanitarian needs, and increasingly complex political settings. Critique of the roots, rationale and operations of the international aid system is resulting in calls for fundamental change, manifesting, for example, in the movements to address colonial legacies and racism in the sector. This 60th anniversary edition of the Development Co-operation Report takes stock of these challenges, and proposes ways forward along four lines of action: unlock progress to deliver existing commitments; support locally led transformation in partner countries; modernise business models and financial management practices; and rebalance power relations in international decision making and partnerships. The report draws on insights from heads of state, leaders of international organisations, practitioners, academia and civil society, with particular emphasis on voices representing the diverse experiences and perspectives of low- and middle-income countries and their populations.

English Also available in: French

In my view: Reinventing official development assistance: From an Arlequin tapestry to a more inspiring Kandinsky-Kasse moment

Official development assistance (ODA) has had an indisputable instrumental value in supporting developing countries’ progress on their development paths. Yet, because it has been allocated, ex ante, in a scattered and uncoordinated manner (the Arlequin syndrome) and not been scaled up enough or targeting deliberately the root causes of underdevelopment – including the imperative of structural transformation and a focus on people’s agency – it has, over time, had diminishing returns, runs the risk of having a limited impact and thus falling into irrelevance. It is, therefore, high time to revisit and reinvent the way ODA is conceived and delivered.

English Also available in: French

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