Busan: World Governments Have Failed To Make Aid Work: Civil Society Gives 3 Ways To Fix It
The day before the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, as the outcome document of the event is in the final stage of negotiations, civil society groups gathered in Busan, representing more than 20,000 civil society organisations (CSOs) - including trade unions, women’s groups, faith-based organisations –call on governments in a joint statement to compensate for missed commitments by making newer and better promises to make development aid work for the people.
In the “Paris Declaration” of 2005, governments agreed to a set of measurements to manage and improve aid effectiveness. Those commitments have largely failed. OECD and CSO evidence suggest that at best only two of the 21 Paris Declaration targets have been achieved since 2005. Major issues that must be tackled include tied aid, transparency, accountability and conditionality.
“Development is not only about economic growth, but first and foremost it is about fulfilling the rights and needs of people,” says Antonio Tujan, Co-chair of BetterAid and International Director at IBON International.
To this end, civil society insists that the High Level Forum results in development policies and practices that:
1. Are rights-based.
2. Guarantee space for civil society organizations and other non-state actors to fulfil their development roles, at a minimum, in keeping with binding commitments outlined in international and regional instruments that guarantee fundamental rights.
3. Ensure that private sector involvement in development actually contributes to development, and respects international labour standards and conventions.
Development is a Human Right, instilled in international conventions, and recognized by the 1986 declaration on the right to development.
“It is the responsibility not only of individual states but also of the community of nations, both those gathered now in Busan, and those not here, to realize development for all,” says Roselynn Musa from the African Women's Development and Communication Network.
A CIVICUS survey of CSOs recently found that 11% of CSOs were operating in a highly restrictive environment, 36% in quite limiting circumstances and 45% in moderately limiting situations. Combined, over 90% of CSOs are operating in difficult circumstances of different degrees and are limited in their ability to engage as equal development actors.
 Reality of Aid Report 2011, Democratic Ownership and Development Effectiveness: Civil Society Perspectives on Progress since Paris; Published in the Philippines in 2011 by IBON Books