Right about now the bureaucrats and technocrats are probably sitting down for a buffet style lunch at the new convention facilities in downtown Accra. I am guessing it will be a mish mash of African and Western food, likely lots of salads of questionable content smothered in mayonnaise, perhaps some jollof rice, and maybe even something like fufu for the really daring. Servers with white shirts and black pants are circulating to see if the delegates would like some fanta or coke with their meal. Conversations will be about a combination of the topics discussed earlier that day at the high level forum on aid effectiveness and whether or not the delegates had seen the new football facilities nearby or whether they had tried – and *liked* – kenke.
The meeting that brings them together, however, is important. Every year donors donate roughly $120 billion dollars to poor countries, plus individuals in rich countries give about another $25 billion or so. We think this money is doing some good, but alas, we must admit that it does not always do good. Academics debate at length (me included) what impact the money has at all. The underlying motivations are good, but so often we hear stories of donor driven agenda, unrealistic reporting requirements, siphoning of funds by government officials, and uncoordinated implementing "partners".
The Accra meeting is a follow-up to similar meetings held about 3 years ago in Paris, from which the Paris Declaration was born. The PD was essentially a list of best-practices agreed upon by delegates that if implemented would make aid more effective. But essentially the PD is about doing the same thing better, with little evidence to support the view that doing the same thing better will work. I hope that there is at least some conversation of how donors might also want to try new things, not just kenke.Share on Facebook