Perspectives du développement mondial

Financing Development 2008: Whose Ownership?


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Financing Development 2008 asks: Whose ownership?. This volume is the second in an annual series designed to support the OECD Global Forum on Development.


Download the Executive Summary here.

113 pages.
ISBN: 9789264045583


Chapter 1. Broadening Ownership for Development
by Felix Zimmermann and Ida McDonnell

The first of the five key principles in the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness is “ownership”. This principle implies recipient-country control of aid-financed development strategies and policies. Yet implementing ownership has proved both difficult and controversial, caught between donors’ need to ensure that public money is well spent and recipients’ demands for policy autonomy. Issues of conditionality, knowledge generation, socially inclusive implementation and good monitoring dominate the debate. This chapter provides an ample menu of recommendations to resolve them.

"To what extent does the Declaration encourage the generation of alternative policy frameworks and home-grown solutions? In answering this question, the link between the Paris Declaration and the Worls Bank's PRSP approach becomes important and contentious" (page 22)


Chapter 2. Ownership in the Multilateral Development-Finance Non-System
by Helmut Reisen

"...this non-system does not result from coherent design, but is a child of spontaneous disorder. Increasing complexity throws into question the capacity of the aid system to deliver development." (page 40)

The complexity of the international development-finance architecture is evolving as new actors and instruments enter the arena. This throws into question the capacity of aid to deliver development. This chapter highlights the current disorder and inconsistencies in the multilateral development finance system and the associated challenges: duplication, mission creep, loss of leverage and the heavy burden put on recipient-country administrations. To promote effective and democratic ownership of development finance, it identifies avenues for reform of the current system. It suggests streamlining the multilateral division of labour and country-based delegated-co-operation arrangements.

Chapter 3.  A Paris Declaration for NGOs?
by Dirk-Jan Koch

International NGOs issue statements on the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and argue that the agenda does not go far enough in pushing official donors to harmonise and align their efforts. By means of a new dataset, this chapter shows that the size of Northern NGOs is much larger than had hitherto been assumed. This chapter argues that, consequently, Northern NGOs can also be considered as donors in their own right and that therefore the principles of the Paris Declaration ought to apply to them equally. In addition, it is shown that the current practices of international NGOs with respect to harmonisation, coordination, alignment and accountability leave much to be desired. This chapter shows how legal and financial imbalances between Southern and Northern NGOs contribute to this suboptimal performance by Northern organisations on central elements of the Paris Declaration, such as increased ownership for local actors and mutual accountability. This strengthens the main argument of this paper: that there is a need for a Paris-like Declaration for international NGOs. The chapter also highlights some remarkable changes made by some progressive actors, which show that in some quarters progress towards this desired Paris-like Declaration for NGOs is already being made.

The aid budget of World Vision exceeds that of Italy (page 67).



Only 6 per cent of NGO Board Members are from developing countries. (page 74).



"A number of big organisations have large-scale service-delivery programmes akin to those run by local governments. The only difference is that the NGOs cannot be voted out of office." (page 73)


Chapter 4.  Private Banks in Emerging Democracies
by Javier Rodriguez and Javier Santiso

"In their core decision making on political risk, banks are put off by political instability in general because it increases policy instability, which in turn impacts negatively on growth and discourages private investment" (page 97)

Private capital movements have risen in recent decades, and bank flows have been part of this story. Some empirical studies have analysed the political drivers of private international liquidity, but paradoxically very few have looked at the political economy of bank flows. Even less research exists on the role of politics in explaining cross-border banking movements towards emerging democracies. The present chapter provides an empirical investigation of the political economy of cross-border bank flows to emerging markets and tries to answer two questions. Do bankers tend to prefer emerging democracies? Do they reward democratic transitions as well as policy and political stability? One of the major findings is that politics do matter, and international banks tend to have political preferences; annual growth in bank flows usually booms in the three years following a democratic transition, especially in Latin America.


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Related Materials by the OECD Development Centre


For further information, journalists are invited to contact Colm Foy (, OECD Development Centre (tel. +33 1 45 24 84 80).



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