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INNOSTART 2019 — An Airbus-GIZ Collaboration in the DRC

SNRD Africa - 5. Oktober 2019 - 15:59
Objectifs, candidats, ambiance avant l’event final — An initiative using aerospace technology for development efforts
Kategorien: english

Valorisation des savoir-faire locaux pour la réhabilitation des sols des zones sèches

SNRD Africa - 5. Oktober 2019 - 14:58
Cas de Laf et Maoudine, Extrême-Nord du Cameroun
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Innovation, Digitalization, Research and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Natural Resources Management

SNRD Africa - 4. Oktober 2019 - 18:04
A collaboration with Airbus led to a new initiative — InnoStart 2019
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#StandTogetherNow at the UN General Assembly

#Action4SD - 4. Oktober 2019 - 17:11

This September, we had the opportunity to promote the #StandTogetherNow campaign at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. A few blocks away from UN headquarters, where world leaders where gathering, we organised a public mobilisation with key partners where we called for urgent action on equality, civic space and climate and environmental justice. We also had the opportunity to showcase some of the actions that members organised all over the world.

The #StandTogetherNow public mobilisation was part of the People’s Assembly, a two-day workshop where civil society representatives discussed pressing matters that world leaders should adress and created a comprehensive call to action.

Photos by Clara Sanchiz/CIVICUS

We also had the opportunity to showcase some of the #StandTogetherNow actions that many A4SD members have led accross the world from 20 top 27 September. Take a look at our presentation at the UN SDG Action zone in this video.

The post #StandTogetherNow at the UN General Assembly appeared first on Action 4 Sustainable Development.

UN commits to help Pacific island agriculture adapt and survive climate crisis

UN ECOSOC - 4. Oktober 2019 - 17:08
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) pledged on Friday to work hand in hand with the people of the Pacific to improve nutrition, and mitigate the worst effects of climate change, which pose an existential threat to many island nations across the region. 
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InnoStart 2019 — An Airbus-GIZ Collaboration in Cameroon

SNRD Africa - 4. Oktober 2019 - 16:04
InnoStart 2019 — An Airbus-GIZ Collaboration in Cameroon Objectifs, candidats, ambiance avant l’event final — An initiative using aerospace technology for development efforts See all Videos on our Youtube Playlist
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How to Address the Youth Employability Challenges in the Green Sector

SNRD Africa - 4. Oktober 2019 - 11:18
The 2020 Strategy in the DRC
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Can we feed the world and ensure no one goes hungry?

UN #SDG News - 3. Oktober 2019 - 22:48
Enough food is produced today to feed everyone on the planet, but hunger is on the rise in some parts of the world, and some 821 million people are considered to be “chronically undernourished”. What steps are being taken to ensure that everyone, worldwide, receives sufficient food?
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Can we feed the world and ensure no one goes hungry?

UN ECOSOC - 3. Oktober 2019 - 22:48
Enough food is produced today to feed everyone on the planet, but hunger is on the rise in some parts of the world, and some 821 million people are considered to be “chronically undernourished”. What steps are being taken to ensure that everyone, worldwide, receives sufficient food?
Kategorien: english

Why Human Rights Defender Gulalai Ismail Fled Pakistan

UN Dispatch - 3. Oktober 2019 - 16:37

Gulalai Ismail won’t tell me how she came to New York. Doing so, she says, will put too many lives at risk.

Gulalai Ismail is a longtime human rights activist in Pakistan. Her organization, Aware Girls, helped to train the likes of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai and hundreds of other Pakistani girls, mostly in the very conservative parts of the country rife with Islamist militants.

She has faced numerous death threats over the years for her outspoken promotion of the rights of women and girls, but it was not until she began speaking out against the Pakistani government that she felt compelled to flee the country.

As Gulalai Ismail explains, she was put on a most-wanted list for her leadership and participation in a protest movement this year seeking accountability for human rights abuses committed by the Pakistani security forces during counter-terrorism operations. This was when harassment and threats directly from the government forced her into hiding.

She publicly resurfaced in New York in September, where she is now seeking political asylum.

The story she shares in this podcast episode is one of perseverance and dedication to the advancement of the rights of women and girls, despite great personal risk.

 

Get the Global Dispatches podcast Apple Podcasts  |  Spotify  |  Stitcher  | Google Play Music​  | Radio Public

The post Why Human Rights Defender Gulalai Ismail Fled Pakistan appeared first on UN Dispatch.

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03.10.2019 German government steps up international commitment to support action on climate change

German BMZ - 3. Oktober 2019 - 14:00
Germany is stepping up its international activities to strengthen climate action. In the supplementary budget for 2020 German Finance Minister Scholz is increasing the funding for climate action programmes of the Development Ministry by 500 million euros and of the Environment Ministry by 100 million euros. "I am happy that we are expanding our commitment to support action on climate change – the Finance Minister is sending a clear signal that we are strengthening the global dimension of ...
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Human Rights and Protected Areas

SNRD Africa - 3. Oktober 2019 - 12:30
In Cameroon's Far North Region
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IVCO 2019 Paper

#Volunteering - 3. Oktober 2019 - 0:21

This framing paper looks at the development of the Global Standard for Volunteering for Development, from research and consultation to consensus on good practice and the publication of the Global Standard.

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How Climate Change is Fueling the Rise of Right Wing Nationalism

UN Dispatch - 2. Oktober 2019 - 18:25

This article by  Joshua Conrad Jackson of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Michele Gelfand, University of Maryland is republished from The Conversation

Two trends have defined the past decade and both have been on display at this year’s session of the United Nations General Assembly.

One has been the escalating effects of climate change, which were the focus of the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit. Forest fires, floods and hurricanes are all rising in their frequency and severity. Eight of the last 10 years have been the warmest on record. Marine biologists warned that coral reefs in the U.S. could disappear entirely by the 2040s.

The other trend has been the surge of right-wing nationalist politics across Western nations, which includes Donald Trump’s election in the U.S., and the rise of nationalist political parties around the world.

Indeed, the first four speeches of the United Nations general debate were given by Brazilian right-wing populist Jair Bolsonaro, Trump, Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and far-right Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

These two trends are rarely discussed together. When they are, their correlation is sometimes viewed as an unfortunate coincidence, since many nationalist politicians actively obstruct climate change solutions.

However, our new research suggests that these two trends may be closely related, and not in the way you might think.

The effects of climate change – and the way it makes societies feel threatened – may be one of the elements fueling the rise of right-wing nationalism.

To understand how climate shapes culture, it’s important to step away from current events and consider the way the climate has influenced societies throughout human history.

Cultures can vary in what’s called their “tightness” – the strictness or flexibility of their rules and traditions, and the severity of their punishments for rule breakers.

The Fellahin people of Egypt, for example, were one of the tightest cultures that we analyzed. For centuries, they’ve enforced strict gender norms and strong expectations for how children should be raised.

When cultures feel threatened – whether by war, disease or economic upheaval – they tend to become tighter.

But ecological threats can be just as strongly connected to tightening.

In one analysis, we showed that rates of famine and land scarcity predicted cultural tightness in historical societies. The Fellahin people have faced a constant threat of flooding, and have endured frequent earthquakes, sand storms and rockslides.

The Fellahin have weathered centuries of environmental disaster. Brooklyn Museum

Centuries of climate catastrophe can also predict differences in the cultural tightness in societies today. In another study we found that nations that have endured the highest rates of drought, food scarcity, natural disaster and climate instability have the tightest cultures today.

Even within the U.S., the states most vulnerable to climate disasters have the tightest cultures. A 2014 study found that states like Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama – which have the highest criminal execution rates and corporal punishment rates in schools – also have the highest historical rates of natural disasters such as tornadoes, floods and hurricanes.

Evolutionary analyses suggest that cultural tightness can be functional – even necessary – in the face of climate disaster. It can make people more cooperative, and more likely to follow protocols, like rationing, during a drought.

But our latest studies examined a darker side of cultural tightness. We wanted to know whether tightness also made people less tolerant of minority religions, ethnicities or sexual orientation. In other words, we explored whether prejudice thrives in tighter societies.

This dynamic would have serious consequences for our understanding of geopolitical events. If climate anomalies such as hurricanes and forest fires have a “tightening” effect on cultures – and these catastrophes are happening more frequently – it might be driving more people toward politicians who espouse xenophobic, homophobic or racist rhetoric.

Environmental threat and prejudice

To test these ideas, we brought together a group of 19 researchers from eight different nations. With expertise in economics, psychology and anthropology, our team was well-suited to study the effect of environmental threats and culture on prejudice and political nationalism.

We ended up studying 86 historical societies, 25 modern nations and the 50 U.S. states, analyzing data on more than 3 million people.

The results were strikingly consistent across these populations. The cultures most vulnerable to climate threats had the strictest cultural norms, and the highest levels of prejudice against minorities. For example, in American states with histories of climate threat and cultural tightness, white respondents reported the highest levels of aversion to marrying someone who was black, Asian or Hispanic. Turkey and South Korea had the tightest cultures, and also showed the most aversion to living near someone who was a different ethnicity, sexuality or religion.

We next tested whether we could cultivate these social and political attitudes in a laboratory setting. We recruited 1,000 people from around the world. We had some write about a threatening event in their environment, including – but not restricted to – climate. Others wrote about a threatening event in their personal life. The final group wrote about what they had for breakfast.

Subjects who wrote about a threatening event in their environment reported the highest support for stricter societal rules and regulations. These same people also reported the most prejudice toward ethnic minorities. This study showed that even brief reminders of an ecological threat could have an effect on people’s political leanings and make them less tolerant.

Finally, we explored how these issues tied into modern elections. We recruited American and French individuals during their respective countries’ most recent presidential elections.

We found that voters who felt the most threatened were most likely to support harsher punishments for rule-breakers, more adherence to traditional norms and expressed the highest levels of prejudice. Voters who felt threatened were also most likely to vote for Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen, each of whom ran on law-and-order, anti-immigration platforms.

One feeds the other

According to just about every estimate, climate change will only worsen. Without serious and immediate reform, temperatures and sea levels will continue to rise, along with the risk of destabilizing climatic events.

The natural perils of climate change are evident to many people already. But our research underscores a less visible geopolitical peril. As climate change increases the level of environmental threat, cultures around the world may become tighter, and the exclusionary rhetoric of far-right nationalist politicians may sound more and more appealing.

Since far-right nationalists are notorious for ignoring climate change, the rise of these politicians may also exacerbate the effects of environmental threat. This may create a vicious cycle, in which the threat of climate disaster and far-right nationalism encourage one another over time.

In this way, bipartisan action on climate change may not just be necessary to save the environment. It may also be an important way to ensure values like free speech and tolerance are preserved in countries and cultures around the world.

Joshua Conrad Jackson, Doctoral Student, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Michele Gelfand, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The post How Climate Change is Fueling the Rise of Right Wing Nationalism appeared first on UN Dispatch.

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Developing Village Nurseries and Employment Opportunities for Women 

SNRD Africa - 2. Oktober 2019 - 17:52
In Cameroon's Far North Region
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A real school at last

D+C - 2. Oktober 2019 - 14:51
In a refugee camp for Syrians in Lebanon, volunteers have established a school

Lebanon is one of the countries with the greatest number of refugees in relation to its inhabitants. Since the outbreak of war in neighbouring Syria, hundreds of thousands have found refuge in Lebanon. In July 2019, the UNHCR had registered around 1 million refugees in this country. More than a third of them live in the Bekaa plains in eastern Lebanon. In spite of numerous international programmes, less than half of the 3- to 18-year-old Syrian children and youth go to school.

Medyen Al Ahmad also fled with his family from the war in Syria to Lebanon. For many years, he has been active in education initiatives for Syrian refugee children. Near his camp he started a tent school for the young inhabitants of this and the neighbouring camps; this school is being supported by the German association Schams. Initially, the children were taught according to a curriculum for informal schools and did not receive officially recognised school certificates. This presented a problem whenever they wanted to continue at a high school. 

But now there will be a real school in the camp, also supported by Schams, and this time with a different syllabus. The teachers use the Lebanese curriculum, and the children get school reports which are recognised by the Ministry of Education. The lessons will start by mid-October. 75 Syrian children aged between six and 14 years will go to grades 1 to 6.  

The single-story brown building is situated outside of Bar Elias in the plains of Bekaa, only 12 kilometres to the border with Syria. From the windows of the school, the view goes to potato fields and informal camps – shacks of wooden scaffolding covered by white plastic sheeting. About 20,000 Lebanese live in this little town, and more than twice as many refugees.

It needs a lot of stamina in today’s Lebanon to build a project for Syrian children. The people are increasingly hostile towards refugees, and politicians insist that Syrians should go back, regardless of the living conditions in their homeland. But Al Ahmad draws his strength from the packed classrooms and the excitement of the children.

Links

UNHCR, 2019: Stepping up. Refugee education in crisis.
https://unhcrsharedmedia.s3.amazonaws.com/2019/Education-report_30-August_2019/Education+Report+2019-Final-web.pdf

Schams – Verein zur Förderung und Unterstützung von syrischen Kindern und Jugendlichen:
http://schams.org/

Mona Naggar is a journalist and media trainer. She lives in Beirut in Lebanon.
mona.naggar@googlemail.com

Kategorien: english

False promises

D+C - 2. Oktober 2019 - 10:41
Nigerian women are forced into prostitution in Ghana

In the evening, when most people in Tamale are having dinner, Nicki (name changed) is standing near the Bank of Ghana, a popular spot for sex workers. Every night, dozens of young women from several African countries line up here in the heart of the city to catch the eyes of men. Most of them are lured to Ghana by gangsters.

Nicki and two other women were brought to Ghana from Nigeria five months ago by a trafficker who promised to employ them as sales girls in her boutique. “But now she says I must prostitute myself,” Nicki says. “I don’t have a choice, because they say if I report to the police, the police will arrest me.” According to her testimony, the women were abused and beaten until they gave in.

Nicki makes an average of 100 Ghana cedis (17 euros) a night for her madam. If she fails to earn enough money, she is beaten that night. Out of her earnings, Nicki gets only 1 euro per day for food. She says: “I don’t want to use my body to make money. It is better for me to go back to Nigeria. When I was there, I wasn’t doing this.”

There is no accurate data available about the number of women that are forced to work as prostitutes in Africa and in Ghana in particular. According to Rafiatu Mohammed, assistant superintendent of immigration, there is a strong link between human trafficking and prostitution. “Mostly Nigerians are trafficked for prostitution,” she says and explains how it works: “Someone who seems to be trustworthy comes and tells the women: I am coming from Ghana, this is the business I am operating. Since you are not doing anything here, let’s go to Ghana, and you help with the business. You will be well paid. Just go to Ghana, and things will change.”

The victims start out with a debt of 8000 cedis (1350 euros) because of the smuggling costs. It takes them months to pay back this debt.

Ghana’s human trafficking act prescribes a minimum penalty of five years imprisonment for all forms of trafficking. However, the police finds it difficult to investigate crimes relating to sex trafficking. “Even when we arrest a man together with a prostitute, they tell us they are boyfriend and girlfriend. You need to do a lot of intelligence, monitoring and also get electronic evidence in order to prosecute them,” says Kwabena Otuo-Acheampong, who heads the anti-human trafficking unit of the police in the Northern Region.

Between 2018 and 2019, police in this Region have rescued 14 trafficked persons. Only one trafficker is serving a jail sentence.

Maxwell Suuk is a journalist in Northern Ghana.
suuk.max@gmail.com

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Why we need a UN charter

D+C - 2. Oktober 2019 - 10:14
What needs to be done so digitalisation will drive, not thwart the transformation to sustainability

António Guterres, the UN secretary general, keeps reiterating that we need deep transformations to prevent climate disaster as well as to fight poverty, reduce inequalities and stem rampant nationalism. He did so, for example, at the UN summits on the climate prices and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York in September. 

The UN leader has ample reason to be worried. A mountain of scientific publications points out the danger we are in. Probably the most impressive and comprehensive reports have been produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The scientific community has been making it absolutely clear that we need deep change if we are to achieve sustainability.

In retrospect, it is unfortunate that digitalisation was not mentioned in the major international policy agreements that heads of state and governments adopted in 2015. It obviously will have a bearing on achieving the UN’s 2030 Agenda, which includes the 17 SDGs, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, virtual realities and related developments add up to a technological revolution which cannot be ignored.

Digital change will have impacts – some of them helpful, others detrimental – on every single SDG, ranging from poverty alleviation to resource efficiency, from governance to energy and mobility systems, from employment to transnational partnerships. Digital technology is speeding up fundamental societal and economic change (Sachs et al, 2019 ).

Eric Schmidt, the former Google chief executive, has said that AI-based systems may, within the next five to 10 years, solve scientific puzzles worth a Nobel prize. Could they also be the game changer we need to facilitate transformation toward sustainability? Integrated well, the two megatrends of digitalisation and sustainability transformation could shape the 21st century in a positive way. They might create a model of human prosperity decoupled from resource consumption and emissions. At the same time, it might recouple economic growth and social progress.

The German Advisory Council on Global Change (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat Globale Umweltveränderungen – WBGU) recently published a flagship report with the title: “Towards our Common Digital Future” (see Sabine Balk in D+C/E+Z e-Paper 2019/07, Monitor section). It shows two important, paradoxical things:

  • digital technologies have the potential to facilitate rapid transformations towards a green economy (by fostering decarbonisation in many sectors, multiplying resource and energy efficiency, and improving the surveillance and protection of ecosystems), but
  • ever-faster digitalisation has so far not brought about the sustainability U-turn we need. Instead, it is deepening and extending unsustainable growth patterns.

The UN Panel on Digital Cooperation (2019) and the science consortium “The World in 2050” have also come to these two conclusions in recent publications. There plainly is no automatism between digitalisation and sustainability transformations. The missing link is governance. Policymakers must act fast for humanity to rise to the climate challenge and achieve the SDGs and build the bridges between digital innovation and sustainability transformations. 

Technological revolution

To be clear: sustainability transformations in the digital age are not simply about smart incentives triggering quick technological fixes. Much more is at stake. Our societies are undergoing change as dramatic as the change that was brought about by the printing press or the steam engine in earlier times. We are entering a new era of human civilisation. Among other things, paradigm shifts will affect the meanings of “human development” and “sustainability”. 

We must take into account that digitalisation is not a blessing in itself. It is ambivalent:

  • On the one hand, it is a potential enabler of a green economy and transnational networking with great scope for connecting people around the world and boosting a culture of global cooperation.
  • On the other hand, digitalisation can exacerbate social divides, compound environmental risks and destabilise societies.

To get a grip on the dangers, we must therefore learn fast. The WBGU has identified several systemic risks in the digital age. They include the following:

  • Digital technologies depend on specific resources and high energy consumption. Unless we decarbonise energy systems and build circular economies, digitally-driven growth will exceed planetary guardrails. Tipping points of the Earth system (such as the melting of Greenland’s ice shield) will be reached.
  • Driven by big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning will disrupt labour markets. Not only blue-collar workers will be made redundant, but so will high-skilled professionals including lawyers, accountants and engineers. No nation has a social protection system designed to cope with these challenges. Our economies and education systems are ill-prepared.
  • Digital tools make it possible to trace everyone, while big-data analysis and social-scoring systems can be used to understand and manipulate individual and collective human behaviour. Democracy, freedom and human dignity are at risk where digital change serves authoritarian impulses.
  • National science systems need to adapt too. The opportunities of the digital revolution are profound. Digital technologies are creating a new 21st century infrastructure for understanding the complexity of transformative change and responding accordingly. However, national science systems are struggling to adapt their infrastructures, priorities and processes to these new opportunities and challenges. Unless they interconnect to this emerging data-intensive world of science, they will be unable to progress, stagnating in isolation. Yet another knowledge gap is beginning to open up between the global north and the global south. We must stop this trend because this will not only hurt developing countries. It will hurt the entire international community.
  • The combination of AI, big-data analysis, genome research and cognitive sciences is dangerous and yet in another way: it opens the door to human beings becoming “enhanced” in physical, cognitive or psychological terms. No doubt, there will be attempts to “optimise” homo sapiens. The Anthropocene is the era of the planet being shaped by humans. In the Digital Anthropocene, humans are becoming able to transform themselves. We certainly need ethical guardrails, but we do not have them yet. This issue extends far beyond the horizon of the 2030 Agenda.

We must prepare

For several reasons, we are only insufficiently prepared to tackle the challenges listed above. Science as a whole is not yet exploiting the tools of the digital revolution. Sustainability science and the research on digital innovations are not linked to one another sufficiently. The knowledge of what impact digital dynamics have on public agencies (including, of course, multilateral organisations like the UN) is still underdeveloped. How sustainability and digital transformations are linked has not been studied sufficiently either. We lack public discourse on what a human-centred, sustainable digital age would look like, and such discourse must not only involve policymakers, but also businesses, civil society and academia.

No doubt, action is needed fast. We must grasp the opportunities, gearing powerful technological innovations to sustainability.

Therefore, the WBGU has joined forces with other science organisations including the International Science Council, Future Earth, the UN University as well as several partners from Asia and Africa. At the UN events in New York in September, we launched a draft for a UN charter for a sustainable digital age. It is called “Our Common Digital Future” and can serve as the basis for global debate, involving scientists, decision makers, community activists and citizens all over the world. Such debate must then lead to action.

The global charter must contain three elements:

  • Digitalisation should be designed in ways that serve the achievement of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement.
  • Beyond that, systemic risks need to be avoided.
  • Every nation must prepare for a sustainable digital age, and that implies reforms in education sectors, intensive research on relevant matters and adopting ethical guardrails.

The draft charter has been published on multiple websites. It is open for comment and discussion. It builds on the Human Rights Declarations, the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement. Given, moreover, that digitalisation and sustainability have such overarching relevance, it would make sense to hold a World Summit on “Our Common Digital Future” in 2022 – 30 years after the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Heide Hackmann is the chief executive officer of the International Science Council.
heide.hackmann@council.science

Dirk Messner co-chairs the German Advisory Council on Global Change (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat Globale Umweltveränderungen – WBGU) and is a director at the United Nations University. messner@ehs.unu.edu

References

IPCC, 2018: Global warming of 1,5 C. Geneva.
IPCC, 2019: The ocean and the Cryosphere in a changing climate. Geneva.
Sachs, J., Schmidt-Traub, G., Mazzucato, M., Messner, D., Nakicenovic, N., Rockström, J., 2019: Six transformations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Nature Sustainability, Vol. 2, September, 805-814.
The World in 2050, 2019: The digital revolution. Vienna, IIASA.
WBGU, 2019: Towards our common digital future. Berlin, WBGU.
UN, 2019: The age of digital interdependencies. New York, UN.

Kategorien: english

TruBudget and the Paris ­Declaration

D+C - 2. Oktober 2019 - 9:25
In the field of Aid Effectiveness there is still much to do

All countries agreed that in future, the administration of official development assistance (ODA) should be aligned to the systems of partner countries (see Peter Lanzet in D+C/E+Z e-Paper 2017/02, Tribune). The funding would preferably be delivered through partners’ national budgets. Budget support became the method of choice for cooperation, including in German development policy.

The Paris Declaration was revisited in 2009 in Accra and in 2011 in Busan. The results were sobering: only one of its 13 goals were reached. Slight improvements could only be detected, if anywhere, on the side of developing countries. The failure of the Paris Declaration was so obvious that most donor governments abandoned the idea of budget support and returned to good old project financing.

The Paris Declaration died a slow death, so to speak, and a resurrection is nowhere in sight. Nowadays, the donor community is in the same position as it was 15 years ago: funding continues to be extremely inefficient. It is hardly aligned to developing countries’ systems and typically bypasses their national budgets. For recipients, the world of financing has become even more complex and confusing.

According to the OECD, more than 500 different donor organisations currently offer assistance worldwide. In Burkina Faso, 81 bi- and multilateral agencies are active. Each one has its own requirements, defines its own conditions and pursues its own goals. Burkina Faso must cope with all of the related demands. As a result, its ministries host over 300 different project teams. Acting on the initiative of the donors, these teams sometimes work at cross purposes in the same regions and sectors.

Therefore it is unsurprising that a 2017 report by the Burkinabe government found that, at 63 %, the financial absorption of externally financed projects was significantly lower than that of nationally financed projects (96 %). The cause was generally understood to be the difficulty of planning and managing the diverse contracts and allocation processes of the donors.

Most donors do not deliver aid through national budgets because they fear losing control and misappropriations. Therefore, governments of developing countries often do not know how much money has actually been spent on public investments. Typically, service providers who work on behalf of developing countries are paid directly by donors. In countries with a significant portion of externally-financed investments, this model has a negative impact on sustainability. All too often, important project do not figure in the national budget at all due to the parallel streams of donor funding. Without precise information on revenues and expenditures, however, every attempt at budgetary planning will just be a waste of paper.

But why was not more progress made after the Paris Declaration? The answer is that budget support did not meet high expectations. Alongside political overload, a lack of governance on the part of many developing countries mattered. Scandals like Malawi’s so-called “cashgate” had a long-term impact on the this aid modality’s credibility. After all, some $ 32 million were misappropriated. That was possible thanks to an abuse of this very electronic system that had been installed to improve public financial management.

Up until now, there was no way to curb the risk of financial mismanagement. New technologies like blockchain or artificial intelligence make a difference however. They can make long-standing problems suddenly look surmountable. However, they have not been used much in development cooperation so far.

Blockchain is a perfect way to make processes transparent, traceable and secure. That is why KfW came up with the idea to tap its potential and develop the TruBudget application (see main essay). TruBudget makes it possible to manage the use of donor funds in a transparent, secure and traceable way.
(pk)

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