I was at the European Development Days in Stockholm last week on a panel with IMF, World Bank, recipient country and European development agency representatives. Some of the usual issues came up (conditionalities, harmonisation etc) but the biggest applause came when I said what I thought might be provocative, given the overwhelmingly aid business audience. "When", I asked, "will development agencies and recipient countries set out a timetable to bring aid to an end?" Radical suggestion? Apparently not given the reception it got. Even some panel members appeared open to the idea. In a way, that's not very surprising I suppose. We all recognise that aid that doesn't end is not really aid. But it seems people in the aid industry are more open than ever to the problems of long term and deep aid. I left feeling optimistic that new thinking was being welcomed by the aid community.

posted by Jonathan Glennie @ 13:37

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