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International aid trends from a Belgian perspective
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Stop Sending Aid to Dictators - TIME

Stop Sending Aid to Dictators - TIME | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

In the postwar period, countries such as Chile, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have successfully followed the path of free development–often in spite of international aid, not because of it.

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The Problem with Theory of Change

The Problem with Theory of Change | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it
If you are working in the fields of development or governance it’s highly likely that you’ve come across the term “theory of change” (ToC). At a conference a couple of weeks ago, while answering  some questions, I mentioned that I preferred not to use the term. The comment didn’t go unnoticed by some witty observers on Twitter, and I was surprised by the number of people who came to me afterwards asking why I do not “like” theory of change.
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3 reasons 'governance' should not only be a stand-alone development goal

3 reasons 'governance' should not only be a stand-alone development goal | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

Better governance is increasingly recognised as a key driver of development. So much so that a number of organisations and states are lobbying for a 'stand-alone' governance goal to be included in the next global development framework after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015.

To support the call for such a stand-alone goal, a fierce debate is under way, including at the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals meeting in New York this week,  about how governance can possibly be measured.

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Governance and Fragility: lessons learnt

Governance and Fragility: lessons learnt | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it
Programming in fragile contexts is always challenging.And attempting to do 'governance' work in countries where governments are unable or unwilling to meet even the most basic needs of their people may seem impossible or, worse, irrelevant. 

Yet three years into the Within and Without the State (WWS) programme, the most important lesson we've learnt is that governance work is possible in fragile contexts - and, more than that, it's essential to tackling fragility. In December 2013, WWS published a summary of our experiences so far and some key lessons for those working on governance programming in fragile contexts.

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Governance and Fragility: What we know about effective governance programming in fragile contexts

Governance and Fragility: What we know about effective governance programming in fragile contexts | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it
This booklet reflects the experience of the Within and Without the State (WWS) programme so far, and offers key learning for those working in the area of governance programming in fragile contexts.
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Technology could empower Africans to hold their governments to account

Technology could empower Africans to hold their governments to account | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it
As mobile phones become almost ubiquitous across Africa, Loren Treisman looks at how social media can help citizens engage better in democratic processes
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African rule of law declines despite economic gains, Ibrahim index shows

African rule of law declines despite economic gains, Ibrahim index shows | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it
Mo Ibrahim Foundation's annual governance appraisal calls for greater focus on justice and safety to avoid social unrest
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"Purposive muddling" and the limits of institutional reform

"Purposive muddling" and the limits of institutional reform | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

I’ve spent my last few flights reading The Limits of Institutional Reform in Development, by Matt Andrews. It makes a significant contribution to our understanding of why so many institutional reform efforts fail to accomplish much, and how those that succeed are different.

The book is distinguished by the depth of its analytical backing and the thoroughness of its framework. Andrews marshals a broad body of research to carefully build the case for an emerging approach to institutional reforms. If that sounds intriguing – congratulations, you’re a development nerd! For everyone else, proceed with caution: this book is not for the lay reader with a casual interest in government effectiveness. Andrews is an expert on this topic and he’s writing for those who do this work for a living. The result is not light beach reading.

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Failed States 2013 Index

The top ranks of this year’s Failed States Index, prepared by the Fund for Peace and published by Foreign Policy, are depressingly familiar. Perennial stalwarts Chad, Afghanistan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have returned, while Somalia has the dubious honor of being the world’s No. 1 failed state for the sixth straight year.

This year’s special report highlights three case studies of failed-state pathology: Congo (No. 2), a state in name only; Egypt (No. 34), a state that has had such difficulty realizing its post-revolutionary aspirations that Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei says it has already failed; and Greece (No. 138), a state that seemed to have graduated to the First World but instead has become Western Europe’s very own basket case.

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Can taxation reduce inequality? Lessons from Ecuador

Can taxation reduce inequality? Lessons from Ecuador | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

Latin America and the Caribbean continues to be the most unequal region of the world.

Latin America and the Caribbean continues to be the most unequal region of the world. This is in spite of rates of growth and economic prosperity which have not been seen for a long time, especially in South America.

Public finance and taxation policies are not fulfilling their basic mission, that of channelling wealth to cover social needs. In the region as a whole, tax collection is too low and the tax regime is poorly    designed. Too low, because the weight of personal and corporate income tax is below what it could be and well below the average for other parts of the world. Poorly designed, because the greatest burden falls on the average earner or the poorest.

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Marc Gedopt : « L’Etat de droit n’est pas l’Etat de n’importe quel droit »

Marc Gedopt : « L’Etat de droit n’est pas l’Etat de n’importe quel droit » | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

Les propos sont de l‘ambassadeur de Belgique au Burundi, à l’occasion de l’inauguration du nouveau bâtiment du Tribunal de Grande Instance de Bubanza, ce vendredi 7 juin.

L’inauguration au chef-lieu de Bubanza du premier bâtiment à étage depuis l’indépendance devant abriter les services du ministère de la Justice aura été une belle occasion pour l’ambassadeur de Belgique de s’adresser à la magistrature burundaise.

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It’s the politics, stupid by Owen Barder

It’s the politics, stupid by Owen Barder | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

One of the things I learned in a quarter of a century as a civil servant is that the public has a great deal of common sense.  Any minister or department which thinks it knows better than the broad swathe of public opinion (a) is probably wrong and (b) won’t last long anyway, whether they are right or not.

One thing that the public knows, which many development experts apparently do not, is that poor countries are poor because they are badly governed. According to Daron Acemoğlu and Jim Robinson, the authors of Why Nations Fail, the public is right: poor countries are poor because they have institutions which prevent growth and enable a small elite to capture the nation’s wealth.

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How open data is changing international aid - Sanjay Pradhan

How do we make sure that development and aid money actually goes to the people who most need it?Sanjay Pradhan of the World Bank Institute lays out three guidelines to help relief efforts make the most impact -- while curbing corruption. One key: connecting the players who are working to change broken systems with the data they need.
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L’Afrique décline dans le classement de la liberté de la presse 2014 de Reporter sans frontières

L’Afrique décline dans le classement de la liberté de la presse 2014 de Reporter sans frontières | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it
Reporter sans frontières (Rsf) vient de publier son classement mondial de la liberté de la presse 2014 qui porte sur 180 pays. L'association « souligne la corrélation négative entre les conflits armés et la liberté de l’information » ; les médias constituant « des objectifs et des cibles stratégiques ». De manière globale, Rsf constate un déclin de la liberté de presse dans les parties de l’Afrique en proie à des troubles.
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Invisible children: birth registration is a prerequisite for equality

Invisible children: birth registration is a prerequisite for equality | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it
More than a third of children are not registered at birth, making it difficult for them to contribute to economic, social and political life. Matt Andrews suggests that a new governance indicator bring change
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What Next for Mali? Four priorities for better governance in Mali

What Next for Mali? Four priorities for better governance in Mali | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

The 2013 elections helped to restore constitutional order in Mali and marked the start of a period of hope for peace, stability and development. The challenge is now to respond to the Malian people's desire for improved governance.

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What women want: integrating gender into statebuilding

What women want: integrating gender into statebuilding | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it
As a donor, how do you ensure your programmes reflect the complexity and diversity of women's interests? Here are five ideas for success
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The Dark Side of Foreign Aid - the Diplomat

The Dark Side of Foreign Aid - the Diplomat | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

“Even though aid is meant to encourage development,aid dependence results in bad governance, stunting development.” Two pages later, he goes on to note, “I am convinced that, on balance, the long-term effects of aid dependence have made it difficult, if not impossible, for Cambodia to take ownership of its own development.”

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Time for "Afro-realism"

Time for "Afro-realism" | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it
OVER the past 12 years overall governance has improved in 46 African countries, accounting for 94% of the continent's population, according to the latest Ibrahim index, which scores 52 African countries (it excludes Sudan and South Sudan since they split in 2011) on the basis of four broad categories. All countries have shown improvements in the area of "human development," which measures education and health care. Yet only 20 increased their scores in the "safety and rule of law" category, which looks at the murder rate and corruption, among other things.
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Governance and Development: Will paying for results help build better institutions?

Governance and Development: Will paying for results help build better institutions? | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

Results-based aid (RBA) has tended to be seen as too focused on simple measures of impact to work for governance. With signs of progress on indicators, and a little juggling of the concept, could there be a place for RBA in institutional reform?

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Governance and Development: Will paying for results help build better institutions?

Results-based aid (RBA) has tended to be seen as too focused on simple measures of impact to work for governance. With signs of progress on indicators, and a little juggling of the concept, could there be a place for RBA in institutional reform?

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How Feedback Loops Can Improve Aid (and Maybe Governance)

How Feedback Loops Can Improve Aid (and Maybe Governance) | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

If private markets can produce the iPhone, why can’t aid organizations create and implement development initiatives that are equally innovative and sought after by people around the world? The key difference is feedback loops. Well-functioning private markets excel at providing consumers with a constantly improving stream of high-quality products and services. Why? Because consumers give companies constant feedback on what they like and what they don’t. Companies that listen to their consumers by modifying existing products and launching new ones have a chance of increasing their revenues and profits; companies that don’t are at risk of going out of business. Is it possible to create analogous mechanisms that require aid organizations to listen to what regular citizens want—and then act on what they hear?

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Is Good Governance Necessary for Economic Progress in Africa?

Is Good Governance Necessary for Economic Progress in Africa? | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

The third wave of democracy arrived in Africa in the early 1990s, well after the pursuit of pro-market reforms advocated by western aid agencies and international organizations. When that wave subsided, a good governance agenda of the rule of law, accountability, transparency, and human rights persisted. A third of the states of sub-Saharan Africa are today substantially democratic while the rest consists of quasi-democratic, electoral authoritarian, autocratic, and failed states.

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The changing face of Kinshasa, DRC

The changing face of Kinshasa, DRC | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it
The Democratic Republic of Congo is often associated with relentless bad news, but economic reforms in the capital, Kinshasa, are starting to bear fruit.
BTC's insight:

Reportage de la BBC sur les changements importants qui bouleversent le visage de la capitale congolaise.

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Unblocking results

Governance constraints and weak institutions are a major cause of poor public service delivery in developing countries, yet there is little evidence on whether and how aid can help to release or ameliorate such constraints. Evidence that does exist tends to focus on the impact of particular types of accountability structures (such as user committees and citizen report cards). In contrast, little research has considered the broader implications of governance constraints for the design and delivery of aid programmes.

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