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General Analysis on Financing for Development


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Regional Commissions should not set International PPP standards (March 29, 2016)

On the occasion of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's Forum on Public Private Partnerships, the Addis CSO Coordination Group, a broad coalition of NGOs working on the issues of the Financing for Development Agenda since the first International Conference on FfD in Monterrey in 2001, has published an open letter. The authors challenge the attempt by UNECE to define international standards on PPPs as illegitimate and call for the issue to be raised during the upcoming FfD Forum in New York in April. There, contrary to the UNECE meeting, all country governments, including those from the global South will have a say. (Addis CSO Coordination Group)


New working paper: The Means of Implementation for Sustainable Development (November 9, 2015)

The summits and conferences of 2015, from Addis Ababa to New York and Paris, will have lasting effects on environmental and development policies in the years to come. However, the direction the international community is headed does not only depend on the goals and targets set during the conferences, but also on the political will to realize these targets, and to provide the resources needed. This Global Policy Forum working paper (only available in German) examines the implementation targets of the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa as well as the positions of the respective actors going into the conference, analyses the means of implementation laid down in the 2030 Agenda and assesses whether they will be sufficient to accomplish the broad goals of the sustainable development agenda. (Global Policy Forum)

UN decides principles for better management of sovereign debt crises (September 11, 2015)

In its meeting yesterday, 10 September 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted principles for a fair resolution of debt crises. The majority of member states voted in favor of the principles, with only 41 countries abstaining and 6 voting against the proposal. Although this outcome falls behind expectations for the creation of a global State insolvency regime, civil society organizations like, the German counterpart of the international Jubilee Debt campaign, welcomed the adoption of the principles. (

On September 10, 2015, the international community must take an important step towards better prevention and resolution of sovereign debt crises. Adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution “Basic Principles on Sovereign Debt Restructuring Processes” would be a milestone towards ensuring that debt crises can be tackled in a timely, orderly, effective and fair manner. An international coalition of civil society organisations working on debt justice urges representatives of European countries at the United Nations to vote in favour of this Resolution. (Eurodad)

A new discussion paper by the German Institute for Economic Research analyzes the top tail of the wealth distribution in Germany, France, Spain, and Greece based on the Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS). Since top wealth is likely to be underrepresented in household surveys the authors integrate the big fortunes from rich lists, estimate a Pareto distribution, and impute the missing rich. Instead of the Forbes the study we mainly relys on national rich lists since they represent a broader base for the big fortunes. As a result, the top percentile share of household wealth in Germany jumps up from 24 percent in the HFCS alone to 33 percent after top wealth imputation. For France and Spain the authors find only a small effect of the imputation since rich households are better captured in the survey. The results for Greece are ambiguous since the data do not show clear concentration patterns. (German Institute for Economic Research)

The role of foreign investment in financing development has been a matter of considerable debate in the negotiations leading up to all Financing for Development (FFD) conferences. But deliberations towards the one which took place in Addis Ababa in July 2015 have seen a definite tendency to propose a greater reliance on foreign investment in financing development. It will be important to watch how the Addis Ababa conference frames the regulatory role of the state, and the practices of using aid as an incentive to attract private sector funding, and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and institutional investors’ role in closing the infrastructure finance gap. With the transnational corporate sector more involved than ever in defining policies around sustainable development, winning the struggle for the narrative around the contribution of private capital flows to development is a crucial prize at stake in the Financing for Development negotiations in Addis Ababa and beyond. (Center of Concern)

Just ten days after the UN’s International Conference on Financing for Development, and just in time for the endorsement of the new sustainable development agenda, a UN Committee has agreed on a set of principles to guide further sovereign debt restructuring processes. The new UN principles were inspired by the devastating bank bailouts in Greece, and by the vulture fund lawsuits that Argentina faced at US courts. They build on preparatory work done by an expert group convened by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and, subject to approval by the UN General Assembly (UN GA) in early September, will be the first step towards a new multilateral debt restructuring framework that aims to prevent future debt crises, or at least manage them better. (Eurodad)

After more than two years of intense negotiations, the U.N.’s 193 member states have unanimously agreed on a new Sustainable Development Agenda (SDA) with 17 goals — including the elimination of extreme poverty and hunger — to be reached by 2030. The new goals, which will be part of the U.N.’s post-2015 development agenda and to be approved at a summit meeting of world leaders Sep. 25-27, cover a wide range of political and socio-economic issues, including inequality, poverty, hunger, gender equality, industrialisation, sustainable development, full employment, human rights, quality education, climate change and sustainable energy for all. However, the Agenda is far less ambitious when it comes to the means of implementation, warns GPF's Jens Martens: “The implementation of the SDGs will require fundamental changes in fiscal policy, regulation and global governance. But what we find in the new Agenda is vague and by far not sufficient to trigger the proclaimed transformational change. But goals without sufficient means are meaningless.” (IPS)

"The Addis Ababa Action Agenda is widely seen as a major disappointment for developing countries as well as others hoping for adequate means of implementation to realise national development ambitions and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It has become clear that the South, including the least developed countries, should not expect any serious progress to the almost half century old commitment to transfer 0.7 percent of developed countries’ economic output to developing countries. But to add insult to injury, developing countries cannot expect to participate meaningfully in inter-governmental discussions to enhance overall as well as national tax capacities. While OECD countries agree that taxation is the only viable strategy for developing countries to exit foreign aid dependency in the long run, they have refused to accede to the latter’s desire for a full-fledged inter-governmental body for international tax cooperation under United Nations auspices," writes Jomo Kwame Sundaram in an op-ed for IPS. (IPS)

On July 16th, governments adopted the Outcome of the Third Conference on Financing for Development, held in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), called the “Action Ababa Action Agenda” (AAAA or the “Outcome”). In a collective and sharp statement in response, civil society said that the conference “lost the opportunity to tackle the structural injustices in the current global economic system and ensure that development finance is people-centered and protects the environment.” The lack of ambition of the adopted text, though not a surprise to observers of the negotiations leading up to it, is very striking for it contradicts hyped-up rhetoric from different sources in the UN and governments about the link between this conference and the upcoming ones this year. Ambitious outcomes in the conferences on the post-2015 development agenda (New York, September) and the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 on Climate (Paris, December) were expected to depend on success of FFD 3. But in its final form, the AAAA does not offer the hoped-for strong financial means of implementation for such other commitments. The reality is that negotiations saw a systematic action by Northern countries to deprive the outcome of any ambition. (Center of Concern)

Just out from the Business Sector Steering Committee is the “Financing for Development Business Compendium.” It highlights 33 efforts aimed at mobilizing the private sector capital, claiming these provide “a strong indication of the broad scope of ongoing initiatives and the potential for scaling up to achieve the demands of the Sustainable Development Goals.” The initiatives will be listed on the UN Financing for Development website as examples of the commitments different stakeholders are making under the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3). Their stated aim is to mobilise private sector capital, expertise and facilitation around the SDGs but they lack explicit commitment to UN standards. (Global Policy Watch)

The coordination group for the civil society participation for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa, July 13-16 2015) has convened a forum for civil society in advance of the conference. One outcome of this forum was a declaration with reflections and recommendations to the Member States of the United Nations and the international community. Furthermore, the CSO FfD group published a statement, expressing the concerns and demands they have regarding the draft outcome document of the Conference on Financing for Development. (Addis CSO Coordination Group)

Financing for Development Conference 2015: Views from the Global South (April 22, 2015)

Developing countries—emerging, middle-income, and least developed—will be going to the Third Financing for Development (FfD) Conference in Addis Ababa in July 2015 with a set of demands to reform and rebalance the international financial system in order to facilitate the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Manual Montes (South Centre) outlines views from the Global South on this conference in a new briefing for the "Future United Nations Development System" project. (Future United Nations Development System)

DAWN briefing on Financing for Development (FfD) (March 4, 2015)

On January 28-30, 2015, members of Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) attended the First Drafting Session for the outcome document of the third International Conference on Financing forDevelopment (FfD3) at the United Nations Headquarters. As a result, a policy paper by Nicole Bidegain reviews the main elements of the FfD process in order to set current debates in context, identify conflict areas between the different blocks of countries, and introduce some of the recommendations DAWN has been promoting with the purpose of reorienting global economic governance and development patterns towards economic, ecological, and gender justice. It is available in English and Spanish. (DAWN)

UN Financing for Development negotiations picking up speed (February 6, 2015)

Despite snowstorm warnings and ice-cold temperatures in New York, the Financing for Development (FfD) negotiations managed to pick up speed when governments convened for the first drafting session at the end of January. They are currently negotiating the outcome of the upcoming Addis Ababa Conference on Financing for Development, which will take place on July 13-16 this year, and is planned as a key milestone ahead of the Post-2015 Summit and the UNFCCC Climate Conference later this year. Tove Maria Ryding of Eurodad reports from this latest round of negotiations. (eurodad)

Information for the nations (February 6, 2015)

"In 2014, we saw yet another repeat of the claim that ‘banking secrecy is over’, as some countries began to commit to a new agreement to share information on money held offshore. But the picture is not consistent: with only 52 countries currently signed up to implementation, and very few of them developing countries, it seems that banking secrecy may be over for some, but not for others. In 2013 we identified the challenges involved in creating a system of information exchange that works for developing countries; now, with much of the new system in place, we assess the progress and consider what else needs to be done to ensure that banking secrecy really is over, for all." Christian Aid publishes a new report on how developing countries are being excluded from automatic information exchange in tax matters - and how this could be changed. The report has been endorsed by 18 more civil society organizations, including GPF. (Christian Aid)

Spain’s austerity criticized again in UN human rights review (January 30, 2015)

The Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) reports about Spain’s failure to protect economic and social rights in times of economic crisis, which has come under stern criticism from other states at the country’s recent Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the UN Human Rights Council. One after another, Spain’s peers in the community of nations voiced their concern over the erosion of economic and social rights after four years of ill-conceived austerity measures. The gravity of the deprivations evidenced in information provided by CESR and its national allies resulted in an unprecedented level of attention to economic and social rights concerns at the 21st session of the UPR in Geneva on 21 January. (CESR)

CSOs respond to proposed elements of Financing for Development Agenda (January 29, 2015)

A very broad international group of Civil Society Organizations has published a critical response to a paper outlining elements of a Financing for Development (FfD) Agenda by the co-chairs of the preparatory process of the upcoming 3rd FfD Conference in Addis Ababa in July 2015. Overall, the CSOs say, the document provides a good starting point for the first drafting sessions and includes most (but not all) of the policy proposals necessary to ensure a successful outcome of the Addis Ababa conference. However, the activists are concerned that the Elements paper does not follow the outcomes of previous FfD conferences, which raises several problems in terms of whose interests will be heard and what issues will be debated. Also, the lack of explicit language on the "global partnership for development" and the duties of states under the Human Rights and Millennium Declarations are highlighted.


2015 will be a landmark year for the global fight against poverty and for equitable and sustainable development, with three crucial summits in just six months. A central issue for all three summits is concrete proposals for reforms to international financial and trade systems so that they support the achievement of global sustainable development goals. Such reforms should be based on the right to development for all countries and ensuring economic and social rights for all. There are sufficient funds available to achieve human rights for all, end poverty and to achieve global sustainable development goals: but political decisions to change structures and systems are needed to make this possible. On these issues, the Third UN Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) in Addis Ababa in July will play a critical role. To formulate civil society positions towards this upcoming conference, a coalition of CSOs has compiled a position paper and is looking for endorsements.

Managing the Next Debt Crisis: Recent Reform Proposals (October 9, 2014)

The world is faced with increasingly complex sovereign debt situations, and the institutions and the instruments they use to tackle these crises are often inadequate and harmful to the most vulnerable in affected societies. The UN Financing for Development Conference in 2015 will be a unique opportunity to change the way debt crises are being managed to avoid forced ‘defaults’ like the one Argentina has recently faced, or crushing financial collapse like the one that Greece has experienced. In a briefing paper by Eurodad’s Bodo Ellmers, recent reform proposals to manage future debt crises by international organizations are examined – one from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and one from the United Nations – and the next steps in the process are spelled out. The paper also makes concrete recommendations with respect to the role of Parliaments and steps that legislators and decision-makers can take in coming months to ensure that Europe influences future effective debt workout mechanisms that are responsible, fair and humane.

The Road to Addis Ababa (September 24, 2014)

In July 2015, the international community will have the chance to change the future of finance development. Governments, civil society, trade unions and other actors will meet for the third UN conference on Financing for Development (Ffd) in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) to take concrete decisions for the future of development and how to finance it. In the run-up to this crucial meeting, two major reports have been released which are intended to inform the upcoming debates: one from the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Finance and one from the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals.  In a recently published article, eurodad's Hernán Cortéz Saenz analyses both of these reports. (eurodad)

The role of the private sector in financing for development from a feminist perspective (July 24, 2014)

Public-Private-Partnerships have become a mainstream development model in recent years. On the one hand, after the financial crisis contributions from the private sector are envisaged to fill the gap of decreasing official development assistance from states. On the other hand, an increasing share of development finance is channeled to businesses and financial institutions. NGOs criticize that private sector development priorities are not aligned with national development strategies and emphasize the conflict of interests between making profits and reducing poverty and economic inequality. The advocacy organization Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) adds a feminist perspective to that criticism. Whereas corporate actors oftentimes do emphasize economic empowerment of women, this approach misses the concept of women’s rights and the broader social circumstances that facilitate discrimination. Women’s entrepreneurship alone cannot solve the problem, according to AWID. On the contrary, many corporations greatly benefit from low wages, de-regulation and uneducated workers, that are in many industry sectors predominantly women. (Association for Women's Rights in Development)

World Bank promotes business interests over human rights (June 2, 2014)

The World Bank recently initiated a revision of its annual Doing Business Report by an Independent Panel of experts. Civil society criticizes the Doing Business Report for putting business interests ahead of human rights by one-sidedly promoting deregulatory policies. E.g. the International Trade Union Congress (ITUC) found that countries that fail to respect workers’ rights are praised by the report. In fact, the Independent Panel made some recommendations to address the shortcomings of Doing Business. Nevertheless, they seem to be largely neglected, according to Righting Finance. (Righting Finance)

How loans are reported as development aid (January 17, 2014)

A new report by Eurodad's Stéphanie Colin deal with the issue of concessional loans in development finance. In the context of tighter budgets in OECD-DAC countries governments are looking for methods to increase official development assitance (ODA) levels without budgetary implications. One way of doing this is reporting a larger share of loans to developing countries as ODA. Other measures in this directions are ideas to leverage development resources by 'blending' public with private funds. The report discusses the main developments in this debate and presents recommendations on how to optimize the developmental benefits from the reform proposals. (eurodad)


‘Blending’ is a mechanism that links a grant element, provided by official development assistance (ODA), with loans from publicly owned institutions or commercial lenders. This is not a new phenomenon. What is new is the narrative of the European Union (EU), which argues that using ODA to leverage private finance is the solution following the financial crisis. There has been an increase in development finance institutions (DFIs) and EU donors using blending mechanisms to increase support and lending to private companies and to partner with private financiers by using ever larger quantities of ODA. Brussels based network Eurodad has issued a report on financial blending and how such mechanisms lack transparency and accountability and can hinder the meeting of development objectives.

Financing for Development - Where is the UN heading? (October 31, 2013)

The United Nations' Sixth High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development (FfD) that took place in New York in early October shows a deep rift between developing and developed countries. This dialogue was mandated to look at the FfD Agenda's status of implementation and the tasks ahead.  While the EU thinks it contributed at least its fair share, developing countries pointed to the major failures in implementation of aid, debt or trade commitments. The future of the FfD process remains unclear. Read the full by eurodad's Bodo Ellmers here.

"When the delegations arrive in Washington next week for the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, they will face a situation that the citizens of IMF programme countries know all too well: The public sector has shut down due to a debt crisis and the policy response that followed. Let’s see if this helps to make the governors of the international financial architecture’s most powerful institution learn some lessons and make the right decisions," writes Bodo Ellmers of eurodad.

BRICS Development Bank May Take Years (March 19, 2013)

The BRICS nations are currently creating their own development bank and several details are expected to be discussed at the forthcoming BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa. Initial contributions of $10 billion are expected to come from each of the BRICS nations, differing from the funding model adopted by the World Bank and IMF. Contributions will help fund infrastructure projects, which will be welcome in places where infrastructure is needed but funds are lacking, and will also enhance cooperation between BRICS nations. BRICS nations lack influence on the international stage, although they have achieved progress economically. As the discussions continue in Durban, BRICS countries must also learn from the failures of the World Bank and IMF in ensuring that projects do not marginalize communities in the process, as was seen in so many BRICS nations previously. (March 19, 2013)

The Microfinance Illusion: The Post-2015 Development Agenda Should Rethink its Development Approach for Local Financing (February 14, 2013)

Following the popularity of micro financing as a development policy, Professor of Economics Dr. Milford Bateman cautions against this form of financing for the post-2015 agenda due to the commercialization and poor regulation of the sector. It intended to alleviate poverty by providing financial access to those outside formal processes. However, widespread micro-financing has prevented economies of scale and saturated the supply market from small and medium sized businesses without corresponding increases in demand. Moreover, 80% of loans are used for non- revenue purposes such as health or housing and many institutions tend to charge interest rates 20-30% higher than market rates, creating repayment issues. Dr. Batemen suggests strict regulation for existing micro-finance institutions to deter fraudulent practices that prevent development, along with promotion of micro-savings, credit cooperatives and cooperative banks instead. (UN-NGLS)


Financing the Global Sharing Economy (October 15, 2012)

“Extreme poverty and climate-related disasters are taking the lives of over 40,000 people every single day and severely affecting many millions of others. At the same time, dramatic cutbacks in public spending on social welfare and essential services are making it increasingly difficult for many families to meet their basic needs, even in the richest nations.” This report by Share the World’s Resources lists out 10 policy recommendations on how to best mobilize the world’s financial resources and overcome barriers to progress. (Share the World's Resources)

UN Calls for $20bn to Fund Social Safety Nets in World's Poorest Countries (October 9, 2012)

An overwhelming majority of states in the ILO has welcomed calls for a social safety net fund in the LDCs. The fund is expected to help setup a precautionary mechanism, as it is more economical to act preventatively than attempt to remedy ad-hoc situations as they arise. To win support from the fund, states will be required to design and implement structures that accept social protection as a globally recognized human right. However, the fund could also be used as a bargaining tool by wealthy states to negotiate deals with resource rich LDCs in return for sponsoring social protection schemes. The fund, which is still in infant stages, will no doubt have many obstacles to overcome. Who will undertake the oversight of such an operation- existing institutions or a new independent body- is only one of many questions. (Guardian)

Should the Development Community Beware Corporates Bearing Gifts? (Aug 7, 2012)

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has appointed Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman to a UN panel on the post-2015 development agenda. As more businesses realize they can benefit from “development,” the UN has been reaching out to the private sector’s resource and technical capacity. However, “just because there’s a business case for development doesn’t necessarily mean there is a development case for business”— development by consumer-driven capitalism is not sustainable, does not reach the poorest of the poor, and could be tokenism for profit-driven businesses. (Guardian)

Banksters Hijack Microfinance (July 27, 2012)

Two recent studies show that microfinance has turned into a multi-billion-dollar business, dragging the poor into speculative market dynamics and generating a dependency on international financing and actors. Banks and funds use microcredit—operated through local partners— to charge exorbitant interest rates of up to 200 percent. The aggressive collection practices have driven the poor to prostitution, child labor, suicide, and nationwide revolts. The reports criticize the general lack of strategy, vision, accountability, and regulation in the microfinance industry, which is no longer a self-reliant development process but rather a profit making scheme for global private finance companies. (IPS)

HIV/AIDS: New Ways to Fund the Fight (July 25, 2012)

While global HIV/AIDS funding is stagnant, the number of treatments is rising. Several African countries have increased their domestic HIV/AIDS investment, which exceeded international investment for the first time ever in 2011. As an alternative to donor support, many governments favor innovating financing mechanisms such as income tax, a levy on the use of mobile phones, and a “sin tax” on alcohol and tobacco to fund the HIV/AIDS programs. (Plus News)

Kyrgyzstan: Could Microfinance Bubble Burst? (June 11, 2012)

The microfinance market in Kyrgyzstan is overheating. The poor rural population and the absence of an efficient regulatory requirement in Kyrgyzstan have rapidly increased the number of small scale lenders that aggressively attract clients and charge high interest rates. Microfinance institutions are often driven by commercial interest rather than development goals. The rising indebtedness suggests the possibility of a sudden burst of the credit bubble. (EurasiaNet)

A Faith-Based Aid Revolution in the Muslim World? (June 1, 2012)

Islam requires Muslims to give 2.5 percent of their wealth to the poor every year. This represents a big potential in aid funding, but much of the money is mismanaged. In search for sustainable forms of aid, some organizations are trying to promote a broader perspective in Muslim giving rather than narrow conceptions of charity.(IRIN)

Philanthropy is the Enemy of Justice (January 28, 2012)

In the speech Bill Gates gave in January’s World Economic Forum, he told Davos that the world economic crisis was no excuse to cut aid. This Guardian article critically examines Gates ”philanthropy” arguing that the poor are not begging for charity, but demanding justice. When a plutocrat’s money comes from externalizing corporate costs to taxpayers, one should not pat Gates on the back and thank him for his generous donation, but rather ask whether the billions in his possession are really his own to redistribute in the first place. (Guardian)

Aid and the Private Sector (January 7, 2012)

The Working Party on Aid Effectiveness, an OECD Forum working towards the implementation of MDG 8 to “form a global partnership for development,” has focused on how to promote greater involvement of the private sector in the financing for development process. The private sector’s role in financing development has, however, been a source of contentious and heated debate. This article of the European Network on Debt and Development outlines five key reservations civil society organizations, which to a large extent have been shut out from the negotiation process, have about the increasing role the private sector plays in shaping the international development agenda. (Eurodad)


Despite Global Financial Crisis, Illicit Financial Outflows from Developing World Remain High (December 15, 2011)

Global Financial Integrity’s (GFI) latest study on illicit financial outflows from developing countries, reports an $8.44 trillion loss over the last decade (2000-2009). Despite efforts to contain illegal capital flows, an estimated drop from $1.55 trillion in 2008 to $903 billion in 2009 is clearly not due to improved global governance, but rather due to the global economic crisis. This is partly indicated by the significant shift from trade mispricing to other methods of concealing theft, corruption and tax evasion. At this time of crisis, outflows of capital from the developing world are particularly scandalous. (Global Financial Integrity)

Why Ignore Capital Flight? (November 4, 2011) 

Bill Gates’ long-awaited speech to the G20 leaders in Cannes was “something of a shopping list” of different options to finance future development. There was, however, a glaring omission from Gates' list: capital flight. Due to capital flight, developing countries lose billions of dollars every year—$700bn in sub-Saharan Africa alone in the past 40 years. Gates’ simple formula of “money available for development = domestic resources + inflows - outflows” omits a key part of the equation and hints at the prevailing political reluctance to tackle structural issues. (Guardian)

Universal Social Protection and Innovative Financing (October 26, 2011)  

After the decolonization process of the 1960s, the objective of policy makers working in development cooperation was not merely to eradicate poverty, but to bridge the gap between the global North and the global South. The efforts made since, however, were unsuccessful in doing so. According to Francine Mestrum from Global Social Justice, a universal social protection system ought to be established to tackle prevailing inequality. This requires putting in place national and international redistributive systems, combating capital flight, solving the debt problem and implementing innovative sources of financing. The time has come to look for better systems not of aid, but of solidarity. (Global Social Justice)

Boomerang Aid Enriches Donors (September 6, 2011)

The latest study by the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) suggests that the effectiveness of aid depends on whether recipient countries can implement financed projects by purchasing goods and services from local companies. The vast majority of current aid however, is tied, which means that only foreign firms can receive aid-funded contracts. Local companies are either formally excluded or are unable to compete with powerful international firms. Eurodad’s findings call for a radical reform in current procurement practices, proposing a form of “smart procurement” in which contracts are exclusively awarded to firms based in the recipient countries.

Cuba: A Development Model That Proved the Doubters Wrong (August 5, 2011)

Since its revolution in 1959, Cuba has eradicated extreme poverty and improved citizen’s health and literacy. While it is not an “economic powerhouse,” it has succeeded in moving "from misery to poverty with dignity," unlike many of its Latin American neighbors, making it an interesting developmental model. However, the author of this article says Cuba must pursue “wealth creation” to expand jobs and strengthen the economy, and applauds Raul Castro’s decision to encourage small business. While the Cuban developmental model should evolve, “wealth creation” may introduce excessive foreign investment and increase inequality in the region. (Guardian)

Turkey's Economy Still Booming, but Challenges Remain (June 20, 2011)

Since 2002, Turkey’s remarkable economic growth has led many people to call it the “Eurasian tiger.” Growth began under an International Monetary Fund-supported economic program and Turkey’s ability to resist dangers of the global recession remains impressive. However, there are growing concerns that Turkey’s growth “is not sustainable.” A large borrowing rate, skyrocketing deficit, and a 9% annual growth rate are signs of danger. While the Turkish government is taking actions to shore up its economy, such as reducing consumer lending, markets are becoming increasingly nervous. The example of Turkey proves that even developmental successes are not immune to global uncertainties. (Voice of America News)

India Must Be Aware of the Dangers Posed By Jobless Growth (July 14, 2011)

India’s recently released data reveals an increased annual compound employment rate of only 0.82% for the period from July 2009-June 2010, even though GPD has risen rapidly. As the author of this article writes, these numbers essentially point to “jobless growth in the Indian economic boom.” However, they also reveal labor market and employment patterns that are important for policy makers.  Men’s work has declined, most likely due to a decline in small-scale activities given the growth of the corporate sector of the economy. Job creation has mostly been concentrated in casual, irregular work, which is fragile and leaves workers less protected. A positive reason for the reduced labor force is the increasing number of young people pursuing education. However, India needs to develop a plan to increase all forms of employment, even small-scale activities, or its increasingly educated youth will have difficulty when entering job markets over the next few years. (Guardian)

Towards New Paradigms for Development and Solidarity (May 24, 2011)

The current state of the global economy poses an unsolvable paradox to the traditional neoliberal doctrine of development. While economic modernization based on Western models has long become unattainable for developing nations, wealthy countries are proving to be less and less willing to assist poorer nations in their road towards “development.” To overcome this paradox, Francine Mestrum of “Global Social Justice” calls for a new paradigm based on self-steered development and global solidarity. The international community ought to establish an international insurance system which enables developing countries to decide by themselves “what they want to produce, import or export.” Innovative sources of financing such as the financial transaction tax and the ecological taxes make the provision of an universal protection system a real possibility. (Global Social Justice)

Investment Treaty Arbitration and Developing Countries: A Re-Appraisal(May 2011)

This GDAE working paper examines the impact of Bilateral Investment Treaty arbitrations on developing countries. It criticizes the widely accepted views of scholar Susan Franck, who writes the BIT arbitration system is favorable to developing nations. Instead, the paper argues that developing nations are actually subject to a disproportionate number of arbitration claims and pay more in relative terms than developed nations do.

Development: Microfinance Craze Conceals Multiple Problems (June 2, 2011)

Microfinance has grown rapidly, but this article questions its impact on development. Microfinance may create mini-businesses, but it does little for real development. Ultimately, the emphasis on microfinance may simply be based on “populist appeal”. Microfinance may be much less beneficial than commonly assumed. (IPS)

Watching Aid Fall Short
(May 20, 2011)

In 2010, the European Union fell short of its development aid targets by 15 billion euros.  A study by the Concord coalition of advocacy organizations predicts that the situation is likely to get worse rather than improve in the coming years, due in part to state practices that inflate aid budgets and the economic crises faced by Greece, Ireland and Portugal.  An ongoing shortfall in aid threatens the sustainability of NGO activities and may mean development targets are not met. (IPS)

Poverty Capitalism: Interview with Ananya Roy (February 17, 2011)

Microfinance defines poverty as the lack of access to credit and capital. This conception depoliticizes poverty and systematically overshadows its primary causes. Failing to recognize poverty as the structural exclusion from power is microfinance’s major flaw. Not mere financial inclusion but “an overhaul of systems of stark socio-economic inequality” is required to eradicate poverty. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Microfinance Needs Regulation (January 1, 2011)

Microfinance, once hailed as a panacea to ending global poverty, is coming under increasing scrutiny because of usurious rates that microfinance institutions (MFIs) charge their impoverished clients. Recent accounts of borrower suicides in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, and allegations of coercive techniques employed by MFI workers to recover loans, have called attention to the darker side of this industry. Many borrowers live under the internationally recognized poverty threshold of $1.25 or less a day. Increased oversight and regulation of MFIs is necessary to prevent exploitation of the poor by private interests. (istockanalyst)


Tax the Rich (November 23, 2010)

The wealthiest one per cent today has more than twenty per cent of the global income. One way to balance this inequality is to tax the rich. Steeply graduated income taxes would make public debt manageable. Instead of deep cuts in the public sector, the additional public revenues could help to improve education, healthcare and public transit - something that benefits all society. Transnational corporate profit might decline and local production for local consumption would expand. The taxation of the richest means investing in the livelihood of the poorest. (Dissident Voice)

How to Spend Environmental Funds (May 24, 2010)

The Global Environment Facility is the economic instrument of the UN environment conventions. But is a multilateral financial institution for the environment necessary? Does financing for the environment work? Many applaud the billions of dollars allocated for promoting sustainable technologies and new production models. However, Zoe Young, author and critic of a global climate fund, insists on good standards for all investments and responsible allocation of all public money. (TierrAmérica)


New Government May Neglect Development Aid (October 29, 2009)

The German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dirk Neibel, has asked for a cut of 531 million euros from the country's international development budget. Neibel thinks Germany should better spend the money for its own school teachers' salaries. The Social Democratic Party along with the German federation of NGOs opposes this new policy and reminds Germany its promises to allocate 0,51 percent of the country's GDP to development aid. (IPS)

Financing for Development and Women's Rights: A Critical Review (2009)

This article critiques the current international development framework. It describes the national, international, and systemic challenges of financing for development, and specifically development to reduce gender inequality. Author Carmen de la Cruz points out the changing attitudes toward development aid since the 1990s and the growing gap between rhetoric and action in today's globalized world. (WIDE: Globalising Gender Inequality and Social Justice)


Alternative Financing for Development (February 7, 2008)

In this presentation at a conference on global development finance, the author criticizes development aid as being part of a system that generates deepening inequality and dependence across and within countries. The author uses Venezuela as an example of a new and improved approach to development, where the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) promotes regional integration and political cooperation to help member countries develop without becoming dependent on donors in the North. (Pambazuka)

Bridging the Gap: Financing Gender Inequality (2008)

Gender equality is central to development results. The 52nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, held in February-March 2008, focused on financing for gender equality.  This report of the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) is the result of these discussions. It focuses on financing and addresses the link between gender equality and macroeconomic policies. (2008)


World Bank to Study Offshore (September 12, 2007)

Responding to pressure from the Norwegian government, the World Bank has agreed to publish a report on offshore financial centers as part of the Bank's anti-corruption work. Preceding the World Bank decision, the TaxJusticeNetwork and other NGOs had actively campaigned Norway and other members of the Leading Group on Solidarity Levies to Fund Development? to address the problem of tax evasion and offshore centers. The NGOs pointed out that every year, countries loose "hundreds of billions of dollars?" through tax evasion and rich countries bear at least as much [of] the responsibility? as poor countries do. (TaxJusticeNetwork)

AU Plans African Investment Bank to Fund Development (August 3, 2007)

The African Union plans to set up an African Investment Bank and is gathering support from African nations which will be the main subsidizers of this institution. Maxwell Mkwezalamba, the AU's Commissioner for Economic Affairs said that the continent requires US$250 billion in the next ten years to double its economy and trade by 2015 and lift thousands of people out of poverty. He also stated that rich countries have not lived up to their promises in terms of economic aid. (Reuters)

Going Global for Good (July 9, 2007)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon argues that whereas the first stage of globalization benefited mainly rich countries, the second and current stage the Age of Mobility? of people, also brings riches to the poor. In 2006, migrants sent US$264 billion triple all international aid combined?  in remittances to their home countries. Still, Ban argues, migration has so far mostly benefited richer countries and generated worries about brain drain in poorer ones.? (Washington Times)

Financing for Development: From Monterrey to Doha (March 14, 2007)

In this article, Global Policy Forum's Jens Martens summarizes the events leading up to the 2008 Second Global Conference on Financing for Development. He further speculates on possible issues on the agenda, such as financing the Millennium Development Goals, reforming international aid, and introducing international solidarity levies? for development. The challenge, however, will be for governments to agree on new initiatives beyond the minimal consensus' of the first financing for development conference. (World Economy and Development)

The Millennium Development Goals Report (2007)

This report marks the halfway point between the introduction of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their 2015 target date. The United Nations report shows that a few countries have made significant progress in some key areas. However, the worlds governments have a long way to go. The UN urges governments to exercise strong leadership and to scale up public investment to reach the goals. The UN also emphasizes that rich countries must make resources available to poor countries in a predictable way, allowing them to plan ahead to make the MDGs achievable.


Donor Backing Grows for Global Vaccinations Scheme (May 16, 2006)

Three more countries joined the eight-country coalition supporting the International Finance Facility for Immunizations (IFFIm). The financial securities of these governments allow the IFFIm to borrow money from the financial markets to increase funds for immunization and development of new vaccines. Although this initiative, launched by the Global Alliance for Vaccinations and Immunizations (GAVI), does not raise additional funds, it enables the organization to improve poor peoples health immediately. Nevertheless, NGOs raise concerns about future lack of funds, once GAVI has to repay the borrowed money. (Reuters)

Innovative Sources of Finance after the Paris Conference (April 2006)

With France and Chile implementing air-ticket taxes in 2006, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation provides an overview of the Paris conference outcome. Apart from the air-ticket tax, the report also analyzes other initiatives to raise additional money for development. A group of rich countries will set up an International Finance Facility (IFF) to frontload aid for immunization. But, unlike taxes on currency trade and carbon emissions, the IFF initiative will not increase development funds in the long term, nor will it have any positive spill-over on the international financial system or the environment.

UN Unveils Plan to Release Untapped Wealth of...$7 Trillion (And Solve the World's Problems at a Stroke) (January 30, 2006)

By attacking global challenges such as malnutrition, global warming and financial crises before they actually occur, political leaders could unlock US$ 7 trillion. A UN Development Programme (UNDP) proposal encourages governments to internationally implement six specific financial tools to raise resources for development, including investments in vaccines and trade of pollution permits.(Independent)

In the Public Interest “Health, Education, and Water and Sanitation for All" (2006)

This Oxfam and WaterAid report argues that public provision of health and education services play a most important role in ending global poverty. Poor country governments must commit to bigger and better investments in health and education. Rich countries, for their part, must support these initiatives and increase both quantity and quality of aid, fully cancel debt for all poor countries that need it and stop demanding budget cuts in and privatization of public services through the international financial institutions.

Social Watch Report 2006 - Impossible Architecture (2006)

In this annual Social Watch publication, NGOs from all over the world report from their individual countries on progress and government action on social development. In addition to 42 national reports, the publication contains thematic reports mainly looking at development financing, including debt relief, international aid, domestic resources and global taxes. Rather than providing any particularly original or revolutionary? ideas, the report offers common sense? responses arguing for example that taxes should be paid by all, and that those who have more and earn more should pay more.?



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