Donor demands govern development cooperation

As long as there has been development cooperation, there have been critical voices against it. One of the more recent critical voices claims that the resources from the outside deform and corrupt – and deviate attention from local initiatives.
I think that those thoughts can be developed further.
A picture that has remained in my biological hard drive comes from the Police College in Lusaka. As a consultant with the role to look into the possibilities to reinforce the Human Rights perspective, I was introduced to the initiatives taken in the area of HR. Indeed there was an office in one of the buildings, with a paper sheet pasted on the door: Human Rights Office. Inside there was a desk, a chair and a book shelf with two books about Human Rights.
This was some time back and most likely there has been a development at the college. However, it illustrates the point:
 It is important to attract those that provide the resources.
I have an old book with the title: Assistance on recipient’s conditions. It is the needs of the partner that should govern. The Paris Agenda and the concept of ownership rules.
But whose needs are actually governing?
Or if we use the metaphor from the business world: Where are the demands and where is the supply?
Of course it is the demands of the partner country that are driving. And the supply comes from the donors in terms of money and other resources.
Is it the demands from the donor that are driving?

Is the supply of local resources trying to match these strong demands?  Is the supply in terms of attention, interest, brain capacity and career paths of the country’s politicians, government officials, young professionals and local business directed to satisfy these demands?!

1 Comment to "Donor demands govern development cooperation"

  1. October 24, 2011 - 6:34 am | Permalink

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