While there is a lot of talk about making development 'country-led', the reality is that many countries will continue to rely on aid from rich countries to foot the bills for basic services and infrastructure.
In order for aid to be given consistently and accountably there needs to be both public support and scrutiny in rich countries. Polls suggest that 58% of Australian's strongly support overseas aid.
So what do you think - should your hard-earned tax $$ be sent overseas??
And if so:
- what areas should aid focus on?
- what, if any conditions should be placed on developing countries who recieve aid?
Or are there better alternatives?
Over to you...
Thanks so much for your thought-provoking posts, guys. For me, your discussion on climate change refugees has brought out a lot of the core issues relating to development: developing country ownership; donor country national interest vs altruism; and public attitudes to aid.
The comparison between climate change refugees and seasonal worker schemes (both non-traditional forms of 'aid') is an interesting one.
In the case of the latter being implemented in Australia, there was:
- clear economic benefit for the 'donor' country,
- advocacy by the World Bank,
- adoption of a similar scheme by New Zealand, and
- support from unions and farmers
...yet it still took several years and a change of government before a pared-down version of the scheme was launched last month.
In the case of the former (climate change refugees), I share both nicole's view that it makes good humanitarian sense and iamagloworm's skepticism about how it would work. In Kiribati, at least, there is definately country ownership of the problem and advocacy of the migration solution. In my view, what is missing at the moment is a coalition of credible advocates in Australia who can advance a pro-resettlement argument that captures the imagination of both policy makers and the general public (nicole, you have work to do :-).
How the politics plays out will ultimately determine the outcome.