Browse by Theme: Aid Effectiveness

Aid spending by the UK is once again in the news. This time a Mail on Sunday campaign and petition has secured a Westminster Hall debate on 13 June. Up for discussion (but not review) will be the 0.7% target set into law at the end of the last parliament that obliges the UK to spend this percentage of its Gross National Income on overseas development assistance (ODA). But at a time when there are 91 million people in need of emergency assistance across 35 declared crises, the highest in a generation, climate change is daily demonstrating its disruptive and destructive force on the lives of the most vulnerable, and global health crises emerge on an annual basis, surely the only thing outrageous about spending 7p in every £10 on tackling global problems is that it is so little.

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The Mail on Sunday’s recent petition calling on the UK government to renege on its fixed 0.7% foreign aid commitment received a staggering 230,233 signatures. The petition is set to be discussed in a Parliamentary debate on 13 June 2016, which will re-evaluate the newly-passed International Development Bill. According to the Mail on Sunday, the Department for International Development (DFID)’s annual £12 billion aid budget is grossly misspent, “fuels corruption, funds despots and corrodes democracy in developing nations”.

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An interview with Naseer Memon of the National Humanitarian NGO Network in Pakistan

The National Humanitarian NGO Network (NHN) was established in 2010 to support joint work between national civil society organisations working in humanitarian response in Pakistan. NHN has sought to influence the outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), including by developing a joint statement by national NGOs in Pakistan on the process. Naseer Memon, chief executive of SPO (Strengthening Participatory Organization – a national NGO) and current chair of NHN, shared his thoughts on the WHS.

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Currently an average of only 0.2% of global humanitarian aid goes directly to local or national NGOs and civil society organisations. Multiple studies have shown that local capacity is often significantly underutilised, undervalued and overlooked by larger international organisations.

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A week ago, MSF announced that they are pulling out of the World Humanitarian Summit, slamming the process for its failure to tackle the major challenges facing efforts to protect and assist people in times of crisis. Indeed they went so far as to state that the Summit process was part of the problem – by its agenda blurring the lines between development, political and humanitarian action.

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Last week leading donors gathered in Paris to redraw the rules of Overseas Aid, and some of the changes, including more categories of military and police assistance, are raising concerns.

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This is written five months after cyclone Pam caused so much devastation in the small Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. There has been time enough to reach a consensus on the most appropriate strategic approach to shelter recovery; but not yet enough time to evaluate the impact and long-term legacy. Decisions have been made and programmes are under way; but as for their effectiveness, the jury is still out. 

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