The Quest for Aid Complimentarity: Nordic+ Donors and NGO-cofunding Reforms
The perennial lamentation since the inception of the aid business has been fragmentation: too many donors carrying relatively small amounts of money to too many different interventions in too many different countries (Easterly and Pfutze 2008: 2; Acharya et al. 2006; Frot and Santiso 2010, 2011). Such fragmentation produces high burdens on the recipient and is even considered to undermine institutional performance (Djankov et al. 2009; Knack and Rahman 2007). NGOs are part and parcel of the fragmentation problem, be only due to their sheer number: around 40.000 NGOs are internationally active (UNDP 2000). Better coordination would reduce fragmentation (OECD 2005; Easterly 2007) and since the Paris Declaration (PD) of 2005, the international donor community has recognized donor coordination and increased specialization as tools to combat fragmentation. Such coordination should encompass an intensified cooperation between civil society organizations and governments (OECD 2005, 2008). But how can this complementarity between governmental donors and NGOs be realized? And what should complementarity look like if diversity, heterogeneity and autonomy lie at the heart of the NGO-sector? Should NGOs from a given donor country be brought in line with the bilateral strategy? Should NGOs harmonize with each other? And where should this harmonization take place? In the home country or in the field?
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