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International aid trends from a Belgian perspective
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Managing Natural Resources: Should we Really Listen to People?

Managing Natural Resources: Should we Really Listen to People? | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it
Few would argue against the need for policymakers to listen to people’s views when it comes to the good management of natural resources. Indeed, if there is one thing that has been stressed from the countless global experiences of mismanagement, it is the need to involve citizens in decision-making processes.   Consequently, the publishing of data is a key agenda for multilateral agencies as well as NGOs. Access to information, including contracts and sharing agreements, is considered best practice. The direct distribution of some of the cash revenues from natural resources to citizens is also often recommended as a means to fight poverty more effectively and increase accountability of decision-makers and politicians. These are good principles based on participatory processes that form the backbone of democracy. It is close to 18 months since massive reserves of natural gas were found in the south of Tanzania. Two industry giants (British Gas and Statoil) have already arrived in the country. The authorities, with the support of development partners, are busy trying to get all the right measures in place so Tanzania doesn’t suffer the well-known ‘natural resource curse’.   But does anyone know what Tanzanians really want and expect in terms of management of natural resources?
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Is Anyone Listening to What Ordinary Africans Think?

“Too often, donors’ decisions are driven more by our own political interests or our policy preferences than by our partners’ needs.”

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Working Paper: Is Anyone Listening? Does US Foreign Assistance Target People’s Top Priorities?Wonkcast: Is Anyone Listening? US Foreign Aid (Mis)Alignment

These charged words did not come from an energetic NGO arguing for major changes to US development policy.  They were delivered by then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to a high-level gathering of development officials in late 2011.  Whether she realized it or not, they also gave voice to the seeming disconnect between what ordinary Africans raise as their most pressing problems and where the US government is focusing its scarce development dollars.

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Making All Voices Count - A Grand Challenge For Web Development

Making All Voices Count - A Grand Challenge For Web Development | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it
Making All Voices Count is a global initiative that supports innovation, scaling-up, and research to deepen existing innovations and help harness new technologies to enable citizen engagement and government responsiveness.
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Transparency: voices from the frontline – interactive

Transparency: voices from the frontline – interactive | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it
How is public money spent? Why are ordinary citizens often unable to access information that has a fundamental bearing on their lives? Across the world, human rights groups, NGOs and campaigners are battling to hold the powerful to account. As politicians prepare to discuss transparency at next week's G8, we ask 12 people on the frontline of this struggle to explain what they are fighting for and why it matters
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Time to listen - Hearing people on the receiving of international aid

This book captures the experiences and voices of over 6,000 people who have received international assistance, observed the effects of aid efforts, or been involved in providing aid. Over time, across very different contexts and continents, people’s experiences with international aid efforts have been remarkably consistent. While there was a wide range of opinions on specifics, the authors were struck by the similarity in people’s descriptions of their interactions with the international aid system. Their stories are powerful and full of lessons for those who care enough to listen and to hear the ways that people on the receiving side of aid suggest it can become more effective and accountable.

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Time to Listen

Time to Listen | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it
Time to Listen summarizes the experiences and analysis of nearly 6,000 people in 20 aid receiving countries, as well as the reflections of aid workers themselves, on the effectiveness of international aid efforts as captured through The Listening Project.
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Telling a Story of Africa Through Youth and Innovation: 'My Africa Is'

Telling a Story of Africa Through Youth and Innovation: 'My Africa Is' | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it
Stories of change within Africa often include a foreigner doing heroic and good work to address a given problem. New York Times journalist Nick Kristof explained last year that such story models connect better with the audience.
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What people want from government - Basic services performance ratings in 34 countries

Across 34African countries1, people'sratings of government performance in providingbasic services--water, sanitation and electricity--are poor and declining.Ratings forhealth and educationare somewhat better, but also declining. Furthermore,largenumbers identify serious shortcomings in these services.Ratings on the handling of HIVand AIDS areexceptions:absolute majorities approve of governments'performances.The findings suggest that whileservice infrastructure such as schools, clinicsand powergrids are necessary for delivering services to people, infrastructure alone does notguarantee effective and high quality services. Africans report major problems with publicservices including inability to access services, the poor state of facilities, and high userfees. Difficulties with access to services as well as negative personal experiences withservice personnel largely shape popular assessments of government performance in thecontinent. The mere presence of service infrastructure such as schools and clinics doeslittle to motivate positive views about government policy performance.
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When Should Donors Respond to What People Want?

When Should Donors Respond to What People Want? | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

When the post-2015 process kicked off, I was regularly asked what the new MDGs should include. My response almost always raised eyebrows. I’d say “whatever ordinary people want them to be” and that decision makers should ask them (not people like me). Not highly choreographed ‘consultations’ with interest groups and stakeholder representatives. No, that’s far too old school and distortionary. Instead, those coming up with new global goals should just ask ordinary people about their priorities through open-ended, representative surveys. That wouldn’t get us the whole way there, but at least we’d know whether the discussion was in the right ballpark.

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Bono can't help Africans by stealing their voice

Bono can't help Africans by stealing their voice | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

Because the U2 frontman and others like him are seen as representatives of the poor, the poor are not invited to speak

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Open data platforms: a tool to revolutionise governance

Open data platforms: a tool to revolutionise governance | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

Jay Naidoo on how to engage citizens in governance and strengthen civil society through open data.

What we need is the political will to co-create the tools with citizens and civil society, and to harness the expertise and technology of the marketplace to deliver the services to which our citizens have a right.

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Tackling inequality vital for new development targets, says Helen Clark

Tackling inequality vital for new development targets, says Helen Clark | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

Chair of UN Development Group wants 'hidden' stories of disadvantaged groups brought to fore in post-2015 talk. "Inequality is so important. There is a strong feeling among disadvantaged groups that their story is hidden in aggregate figures," said Clark.

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Tackling poor governance — where to begin? | Oxfam GB | Policy & Practice

Tackling poor governance — where to begin? | Oxfam GB | Policy & Practice | International aid trends from a Belgian perspective | Scoop.it

People's ability to claim their rights is hampered by poorly governed or weak institutions. On the UN's Human Rights Day, we're launching a new tool to help practitioners to plan programmes that put governance considerations at their core. The Right to be Heard Framework: Learning Companion is intended to support Oxfam staff and partners in choosing where and how to build programmes that directly or indirectly address issues of governance.

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