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  • Global Challenges

    Workshop: Regaining Citizens Trust: The Role of International Donors

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    International assistance has taken a dual role in the developing world. It facilitates much needed reforms that contribute to increased transparency and accountability. But in other cases, the lack of strict controls is making foreign aid vulnerable to corruption. Much needed assistance is falling in the wrong hands while taxpayers in donor countries see their contributions going to waste. The current situation demands that donors institute tighter internal controls and ensure greater participation for civil society in decision making and in monitoring development assistance. Also, the selection criteria for providing funding is too often based on political and security interests rather than on needs and effective use of development assistance. As many experts have proposed, new criteria are urgently needed for making sound decisions and choices for foreign aid.

    This workshop will look at the results of multilateral and bilateral donors’ development assistance in a few select countries, particularly poor and corrupt countries. It will share perspectives on how citizens are losing trust in the effectiveness of international cooperation. In some countries, citizens perceive international aid in relation to corruption as part of the problem, rather than part of the solution. In fact, millions of critical development assistance is lost to corruption.

    This workshop will generate discussion and present diverse views on these important issues. It will seek to raise awareness of the negative impact of poorly monitored foreign aid; showcase some specific cases of how development assistance is fueling corruption; and suggest strategies and criteria for selecting countries for development assistance. Presenters at the panel will also focus on the Paris Declaration on Aids Effectiveness to showcase both the role of civil society in monitoring and overseeing development assistance at the local, regional and national level and also provide examples of best practices used by some international donors, particularly the United Nations Development Program, in attaining the Millennium Development Goals and complying with the Paris Declaration. The workshop will engage the audience in sharing their country’s experience with international development assistance and proposing ways in which civil society could contribute in the decision making process and in its oversight role.


    COORDINATOR: Olga Nazario, Casals & Associates, Inc.

    MODERATOR: Beatriz Casals, Casals & Associates, Inc.

    RAPPORTEUR: Miguel García-Gosalvez, Casals & Associates, Inc.


    Gerardo Berthin, UNDP official, will highlight the accountability tools, policies and principles that guide the development work of UNDP, and how these are put into practice both in project implementation and stakeholder engagement. Download Paper

    Aleksander Dardeli, Casals & Associates, Inc. will provide the context for the discussion on the lack of trust in development assistance. He will analyze citizen and civil society perspectives on international development assistance and the interaction between trust and impact of in the work of international donor agencies. Download Paper

    Olga Nazario, Casals & Associates, Inc. will focus on specific cases where international assistance has fueled corruption rather than contribute to development. She will also look at the correlation between development assistance and corruption in key nations and provide new criteria for deciding on which countries should be recipients of international development funding.

    Rosa Inés Ospina-Robledo, NGOs Network for Transparency—Colombia– will look at civil society’s participation in monitoring and overseeing development assistance at the local, regional and national level. She will also provide tools for civil society to conduct such oversight. Download Paper

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