You are on page 1of 31


The Latest Issues and Trends in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance

The Next Big Thing

Tracking Relief and Development Trends

A Dying Breed: 44 Years in

What is the New International Development

Secretary Rice Talks About Foreign Assistance

Reform and Much More
April 2007
Vol. 25, No. 4
In this issue, we asked our readers to share their ideas of
current and future trends in relief in development.
Here’s what they came up with...

04 A Dying Breed (Special Report)
06 New Philanthopy and Impact Assessment in International Development
10 Sending Money Home
12 From Disaster to Conflict Early Warning: A People-Centered Approach
14 Beyond Doing No Harm
16 Doing Better at Learning: Impact Evaluation for Development
18 Food and Fuel: World Commodity Prices and Food Security
20 Seeding New Philanthropy: Mobilizing Internal Resources for
Development in Ukraine
22 An Interview with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
26 Deepening Aid Effectiveness Through the Paris Declaration Framework
30 Trend Spotting: Readers Write In


03 Inside this Issue: An Overview
08 Inside Our Community
18 Your Thoughts
32 Position Announcements

Want more information on this issue?

Check out our resource page at
An Interview with U.S. Secretary
Next month of State Condoleezza Rice
Look for the May issue of Monday Developments,
Secretary Rice will be a keynote speaker
highlighting Forum 2007, InterAction’s annual
at this year’s Forum.

Correction for the March issue. On page 16, the
first bullet point does not belong in the “How is it FORUM 2007
Different?” text box. We hope to see you on April 18-20! More
information online at

Renew your Monday Developments subscription today! Email

Trend Spotting
In this issue of Monday Developments, we have allowed ourselves
the luxury of a deliberately ambitious goal: to invite practitioners
from within and outside our community to share with us their
take on happenings that are consistent and frequent enough to be

considered trends. These are actions, events and accomplishments
that, in their views, could steer our current approaches and (noun)
practices of international development and humanitarian assistance 1. the general course or prevailing tendency
in anticipated or unexpected directions.
The practice of “trend spotting” is better known to the business
sector, perhaps because it helps minimize risk and uncertainty
while maximizing opportunities for growth and profit. Like
profit in the business sector, the enormity of the challenges facing
our community in seeking lasting solutions to global poverty
and saving lives is equally compelling. As InterAction aims to
demonstrate and enhance NGO accountability and impact in
development and humanitarian action in its new strategic plan,
scanning the horizon in an effort to anticipate and respond to
change seems a timely exercise to promote in our community.
In these pages we bring you some of the new and/or potential
trends—some more established than others. Kent Glazer captures
the entrée of new players in development financing along with The practice of “trend spotting” is better known to the
new approaches to addressing poverty. Theresa A. McCaffrey business sector, perhaps because it helps minimize
further explores one of the new funding trends identified in risk and uncertainty while maximizing opportunities
Glazer’s article, diaspora giving. David Alpher observes that for growth and profit.
the increasing linkages between poverty and conflict have made
conflict resolution a crosscutting issue of importance equal to
that of gender and the environment. Patrick Meier captures
the shift from centralized responses to contemporary disasters,
based on the conventional division of labor between “warners”
and “responders,” to an increasingly people-centered disaster MONDAY DEVELOPMENTS
management that recognizes and leverages local capacities. Managing Editor Monday Developments is
Julie Montgomery published 12 times a year by the
The elephant in the room in the international aid field remains the Communications Department of
effectiveness of programs. An astute piece from World Vision’s InterAction, the largest alliance of
CEO, Richard E. Stearns, shares insights on the increasing U.S.-based international development
Robyn Shepherd and humanitarian nongovernmental
scrutiny of NGOs’ work by a growing number of external Kathy Ward organizations. With more than
rating agencies. We also introduce you to Kevin Lowther, who 160 members operating in every
takes a retrospective look at his 44 years of career experience in Copy Editor developing country, we work to
international development and speaks to increasing concerns Hilary Nalven overcome poverty, exclusion and
suffering by advancing social justice
around responsibility and ownership of development work. and basic dignity for all.
Other pieces of interest include perspectives on the issue of aid Advertising & Sales
Josh Kearns
effectiveness in the Paris Declaration framework and an informative InterAction welcomes submissions
of news articles, opinions and
Q&A session with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Communications Department announcements. Articles may be
As you read through these and other articles, I trust you’ll put Nasserie Carew, Director reprinted with prior permission and
Josh Kearns, Advertising & Sales attribution. Letters to the editor are
to good use your own sense of “trend spotting” to not only encouraged.
Julie Montgomery, Publications
recognize, but to leverage the trend or trends that might steer Robyn Shepherd, Media
your organization closer to its own mission. I also invite you to A limited number of subscriptions
are made available to InterAction
share with us any insights these articles might generate for you. Editorial Committee member agencies as part of their
Sylvain Browa dues. Individual subscriptions cost
Sylvain Browa Kimberly Darter $80 a year (add $15 for airmail
Senior Manager, Partnership and Development Impact Hilary Nalven delivery outside the U.S.) Samples
are $5, including postage. Additional
InterAction discounts are available for bulk
orders. Please allow 4-6 weeks
1400 16th Street, NW, Suite 210 for delivery. Advertising rates are
Washington, DC 20036 available on request.
Tel: 202.667.8227 ISSN 1043-8157
A Special Report

A Dying Breed
By Kevin Lowther, Regional Director for Southern Africa, Africare
When I graduated from college in member had started a local vaccination medical services or other scarce technical
June 1963, I did not plan to be an Ugly campaign a day earlier than the expertise. This applies equally to
American. There was no career choice government planned, lectured me that dissemination of appropriate technology
called “international development.” “This is our country.” She was right, of and the cross-fertilization of successful
Foreign assistance programs, born under course, and she was the first—and only development models. It can embrace
the Marshall Plan, were in their infancy. —African official honest enough to say training and evaluation.
Only missionaries, a self-selected few, it to my face. I thanked her. Still, the devil’s advocate might assert
trained to be development workers. I have long believed that grassroots that even these contributions, when
President John F. Kennedy changed development, community development made by expatriates, pre-empt the
that. He revamped our foreign aid —whatever you choose to call it—is a responsibility of peoples and nations to
administration and created the Peace catalytic process. That requires a catalytic address their own needs. My students in
Corps in 1961. The day after graduating, (meaning outside) agent. I have flattered Sierra Leone did not aspire to replace me
I became one of his volunteers. Three myself over the years that I, as a non- in the classroom. They aspired to leave
months later, I stood with a piece of chalk African, an outsider, could play that role. for Europe and America, as many did.
in my hand, facing 40 Sierra Leonean This conceit can take an expatriate and They had no interest in development of
high school students. I had become a the catalytic process just so far. An African their country as such. If others wanted
development worker. who has the cultural knowledge and to shoulder that thankless burden, they
As I prepare to retire in June after 44 years intuition, as well as the vernacular skills, were welcome.
in development—all of them involving that you will never possess can advance Foreign aid programs, private voluntary
Africa—I feel like a dying breed. I hope the process further and more effectively. organizations (PVOs) and the Peace
that I am. She or he can be the outsider far better Corps—no matter how effective they
Lest I be misunderstood: the Peace Corps than you. may be at doing good—cannot escape
is a credible and enduring expression That realization should give us all the iron law of unintended consequences.
of the best that is in us as a people. I pause. If we are genuinely committed to The most glaring is that we have made
take pride in having helped to establish improving people’s lives, we are obliged to it easier for African and other Third
Africare. And I have no regrets in having find a place in the train of development World governments and communities to
devoted 37 good years to its growth as a that allows us to add real value without evade fuller responsibility for their own
respected vehicle for social and economic subtly retarding local initiative and development.
development in Africa. capacity. We will never know the true measure
That begs a question, however, which There are many ways to add value of our counter-productivity in this
has bothered me increasingly over the without getting in the way of indigenous respect. I would like to believe that we
years—and which I suspect bothers initiative. Africare’s co-founder, Dr. have merely slowed—not aborted—our
many others in my profession. Who William Kirker, and his wife Barbara hosts’ assumption of accountability for
is responsible for development? Who are returning this month to work in the national and local development. Indeed,
should be “doing” the development? Nigerien clinic where they served as over the past decade or more, I have
Peace Corps Volunteers in the 1960s. No concluded that people and communities
Many years ago, an African minister, are becoming more proactive in their
angered that an expatriate Africare staff one can argue against providing skilled
own development. We have no higher

With over 40 years of experience, Kevin
Lowther looks back on his career to see
just how he has made a difference.

Photo: courtesy of Kevin Lowther. Pictured from left to

right, Pedro Siloka, a former long-time Angolan staff
member of Africare’s; Kevin’s wife, Patricia; Kevin.

purpose now than to foster and expedite people realized that their governments This is a challenge to governments, to
this devolution of responsibility to the were incapable of meeting many of their donors, to PVOs and to people like me
people we have pledged to “develop.” needs. who have long presumed that they have a
When I first worked in Southern Africa, The dawning of this reality was especially defining responsibility for development in
in 1978, I found virtually no spirit of evident in Zambia. As I visited areas of Africa. If there is any defining to be done,
self-help or local initiative. During the the country that I had first known 15 and it is for governments, donors, PVOs and
five years that I lived in Zambia, people 20 years earlier, I found a palpable self- well-intentioned outsiders to redefine
expected the government to provide reliance where once there had seemingly their role vis-à-vis people who are taking
infrastructure and services. I found been none. People had started building control of their own development and
this same assumption in a liberated community schools, with little or no destiny.
Zimbabwe, in Malawi and elsewhere in outside aid, to fill the vacuum created
the region. by the government’s inability to meet Kevin Lowther has served as Africare’s Regional
The people could hardly be blamed. For educational needs for all. Women were Director for Southern Africa since 1984. He is co-
organizing caregiver groups to sustain the author, with C. Payne Lucas, of Keeping Kennedy’s
political reasons alone, governments were Promise, a critique of the Peace Corps’ formative
not going to tell citizens that they had mounting number of orphans. Township
first decade.
to look out for their own development. youth were coming together to educate
Donors abetted this by granting huge their peers on HIV/AIDS. All of which
amounts of aid. This sent a subliminal was happening without the catalytic
message to governments and people alike presence of outsiders of any complexion.
that they could not develop without I see a similar trend throughout much of
external assistance. the region. Farmers’ associations, savings
Looking back on the development projects and loans clubs, women’s groups, youth
I helped to design and implement during and churches are driving development
that period, I can recall only a few where and providing services. Civil society is
there was more than a fleeting impact. asserting itself, as it was bound to. Local
That began to change, very gradually, as leadership is taking firmer hold.

APRIL 2007 
And Impact Assessment in International Development
By Kent Glenzer, Director of Impact Measurement and Learning, CARE, and
Research Associate, Center for the Study of Public Scholarship, Emory University

Social Entrepreneurs. Venture Philanthropists. Philanthropreneurs.

All the above actors have been described If Gates’ contributions were subtracted Community foundations—philanthropic
as elements of what is being called “the from all international giving for that pe- entities that serve their own communi-
new philanthropy.” But what is the new riod, international giving by U.S. philan- ties—may not be financial heavyweights
philanthropy? What are the likely future thropies would have dropped 4%. but are a boon to the poor in different
impacts of this new set of financiers on ways. Boards or trustees are drawn from
These two trends have been driven by the
global development? What specifically is the local citizenry. They often encourage
extraordinary growth of the stock market
the relevance of this trend to impact as- citizen action and create more vibrant
in the 1990s. As BusinessWeek reported
sessment? civil societies in their local areas. Signal-
in 2002, charitable giving by individu-
ing their importance, the World Bank be-
In 2005, U.S. foundation grants for in- als in the U.S. rose from $110 billion to
gan tracking the trend in 2003.
ternational affairs reached a record $2.8 $164 billion between 1990-2001. U.S.
billion, much of which came from “new philanthropic grant making could total as
philanthropy.” This catch-all phrase en- much as $300 billion per year by mid- What is Really New?
compasses at least six distinct compo- century. With regard to the first two trends, there
nents: is a strong focus on entrepreneurship,
Another trend involves a new generation
of corporate foundations. Nike, Google, market-oriented approaches to social and
1. New foundations
and eBay have all started their own foun- economic development, and the use of
2. Wealthy individuals dations in the last decade. In 2004 cor- forms of venture capital for philanthrop-
3. Corporate foundations porate foundations, for the first time, ic purposes. The new philanthropists
4. Reinvented established surpassed all other categories of private bring business sensibilities to their work.
foundations funding partners with regard to interna- They demand results, and are interested
tional giving. in “best practice,” taking proven solu-
5. Diaspora giving
tions to scale and quantified measures of
6. Global community foundations These new entries into the philanthropic performance.
marketplace, coupled with new ideas
Newer foundations such as the Bill & about aid effectiveness, have led also to There is also a much greater desire to be
Melinda Gates Foundation dominate reinvention of long-established philan- more closely involved in all stages of the
the public imagination, while individuals thropies. The Rockefeller Foundation work. This is particularly true with re-
such as Ted Turner represent a new gen- has concentrated its resources, applying gard to wealthy individuals who seek not
eration of wealthy individuals looking to greater focus on addressing underlying a charity to support but a cause and solu-
support international causes. But these causes of social ills, and more reliance on tion to back. Many of these individuals
two categories are populated by small- strategic alliances to combine compara- have made massive fortunes by identify-
er, innovative actors too. The Global tive strengths. These decisions flowed ing and solving complex challenges in
Greengrants Foundation, for example, from an analysis that revealed how main- the for-profit world and wish to now use
makes small grants—generally less than stream development theory and practice those skills to increase the well-being of
$5,000—to actors in the developing has consistently converted complex ideas the world’s poor. They are not content
world. Additionally, new partnerships into simplistic and formulaic solutions. to fund a project and receive periodic re-
are emerging between philanthropies, ports. They want to be involved. While
Diasporic philanthropy consists largely of
for-profit enterprises, universities and insistent on supporting proven technolo-
remittances. In 2000, one researcher es-
governments. Meanwhile, giving from gies and approaches, they are sophisti-
timated that while foundation and other
wealthy individuals who are not inter- cated and understand that social change
formal giving totaled $10 billion for in-
nationally known is increasing rapidly. is complex and that lasting solutions are
ternational work, diasporic philanthropy
These individuals are looking to support different from quick fixes.
totaled at least $25 billion, a conserva-
“big ideas” for improving the well-being The sheer weight of the financial resourc-
tive estimate given the difficulty of track-
of the world’s poor. es that the new philanthropy brings to
ing such funds. A 2006 study estimated
Still, Gates dominates the landscape. In global diaspora giving at $50-$75 bil- international development may radically
2002-2004, Gates’ international giving lion.
grew from $526 million to $1.2 billion.

reinvent development funding. In 2000, with the new philanthropists. The de- not turn the poor into mere objects of
the Gates Foundation gave more for mand goes beyond “results-based man- top-down designs.
international health than the U.S. gov- agement.” Stronger skills in quantitative INGOs have a unique position—and ob-
ernment. If these philanthropies con- and statistical methods are needed, and ligation—to engage jointly with the new
tinue to grow, by mid-century they may strategic alliances with research orga- philanthropic actors on all these levels.
dominate and determine international nizations must be forged. To date, the Our connections to the most remote
development approaches. This raises the willingness to fund such monitoring and villages in the South allow us to speak
question of accountability and coordi- evaluation systems is one of the new phi- with authority about how to address
nation. With so many new and wealthy lanthropy’s greatest strengths. A num- underlying causes of poverty and social
entrants, how will they coordinate with ber of philanthropies now offer awardees injustice while at the same time achiev-
Southern governments and multilateral free design, monitoring and evaluation ing important, short-term improvements
institutions such as the UN? To whom technical assistance through university or in well-being. Our ability to amplify the
will they be accountable? research group partnerships. voices of the poor themselves can affect
A second and related implication is that the choices made by new philanthropists
Implications for Impact those INGOs that wish to access a share about what to support and how to sup-
Assessment of these funds for international programs port it. Our struggles with the politics of
The first and most obvious implication for will need better knowledge of “best prac- development knowledge—which actors
impact assessment is that INGOs need to tice” in technical arenas and clear plans get to define success and how to mea-
offer clear, testable programs and dem- and strategies for achieving wide replica- sure it—need to be better explained and
onstrate results in the form of changes in tion and efficiencies of scale. The chal- communicated. Our experience working
well-being of people if they wish to work lenge will be to do this in a way that does within the policies of a wide range of do-
nors allows us to bring to the table wide
practical experience about donor practic-
es that work for the poor and marginal-
ized—as well as those that do not.
Ironically, the very strengths of the new
philanthropy—its focus on supporting
proven, measurable, rapid improvement
in the lives of the poor—are a potential
danger. We know that quick wins are
possible yet disappear when projects end.
We know we need to address underly-
ing causes of poverty and social injustice
if short-term improvements are to last.
Those kinds of programs are more com-
plicated, however. They are emergent, re-
quiring long-term commitments, intense
focus on participatory and qualitative
methods and types of data and sustained
action-learning cycles. Our community’s
opportunity and challenge is to more
clearly define impacts on underlying
causes and engage the new philanthropy
in supporting methodological innova-
tion, research partnerships and long-
term learning that can help us connect

THE annetwhropy
the dots between quick wins and lasting
change. That’s a shared goal of both the
new philanthropists and NGOs, and its

phil achievement could result in a reinvention

of how development is financed, mea-
sured and promoted.

U.S. foundation graaffairs
for internationaor l
reached a rec 0d5$2
billion in 20

APRIL 2007 
COMMUNITY ERD Supports Communities Affected by Cyclone Indlala
in Madagascar
InterAction Hires Vice President for Membership Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is supporting people
in Antalaha, Madagascar affected by Cyclone Indlaha. Antalaha is
InterAction this month welcomes Barbara Wallace as Vice located 354 miles north of Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo.
President for Membership. In her new position, Barbara will
promote InterAction’s strategic engagement with the leadership On Thursday March 15, Cyclone Indlaha swept through the
of member organizations, develop long-range plans for town destroying buildings and infrastructure. The storm killed
membership development and expansion and help build a strong 12 people and left more than 14,000 others homeless. In the
U.S. NGO community. Sofia region, the storm caused the death of a young man who
drowned while trying to save his mother from the rising waters
Barbara came to InterAction from RESULTS and RESULTS of the Sofia River. A national electricity power station 99 miles
Educational Fund, where she served initially as Managing east of Antananarivo was damaged, leaving residents without
Director and Executive Director from 2001-2006. While at power or communication services.
RESULTS, she represented RESULTS in the National Anti-
Hunger Organizations Coalition and InterAction and served Recent tropical storms and cyclones have increased pressure on
on the boards of the Basic Education Coalition and the U.S. food security due to the island’s loss of more than one-third of its
Alliance to End Hunger. yearly rice production, with some areas losing 80 percent of their
crops. In the Sambava region, rice plants have been flattened,
She continues to serve as chair of the Alliance to End Hunger’s and vanilla bean fields were destroyed by blown tree branches.
Presidential Task Force, created to bring issues of hunger and In the town of Ambilobe, most of the upcoming rice harvest was
poverty forward as major issues for all candidates in the next ruined with only 20,000 hectares of rice fields left undamaged
presidential election. after the Mahavany River overflowed its banks.
Prior to RESULTS, Barbara worked at Landmark Education
where her service included the management of multiple World Vision Struggling to Deliver Aid to Displaced as Sri
departments, volunteer recruitment and leadership development. Lanka Crisis Intensifies
Barbara’s experience as a businesswoman began while still in
As fighting in eastern Sri Lanka continues to force thousands from
college, at which time she started the first of two successful
their homes, World Vision is delivering critical relief assistance
businesses in the printing industry, generating impressive revenue
to displaced children and families. Safe access to volatile areas
and industry innovation. For several years, Barbara volunteered
remains a key challenge. The recent escalation in hostilities has
with organizations that fought for Native American rights and
created a humanitarian crisis in eastern Sri Lanka, with more than
educational opportunities for the impoverished. Participation
155,000 homeless and living in displacement camps.
in the ceremonial life of Native American people and long-term
activism in Native American issues are cherished parts of her “We’re concerned that this crisis could worsen in the coming
life. weeks,” said Rein Paulsen, World Vision’s Senior Director for
Emergency Response. “Many communities in the conflict zone
Trickle Up’s Poverty Alleviation Work Featured in PBS are still recovering from the 2004 Asia tsunami, when families
Documentary lost everything. Now they’ve been uprooted from their homes
again, and have no way to feed or educate their children.”
Trickle Up entrepreneur Melissa Hull and President Bill Abrams
are featured in the PBS documentary The Boomer Century 1946— As fighting has intensified in the past week, World Vision has
2046 which premieres last month. Abrams and Hull—who been distributing water, food, mats, tarps for shelter, water
are both boomers—tell how Trickle Up changed their lives by containers and other essential supplies to families living in
bringing them each to a new direction and new field of work. displacement (IDP) camps in the East. The protection and well-
being of children in the camps is a key focus of the agency’s work.
Melissa Hull was struggling to make ends meet for herself and Over the past several months, World Vision has distributed aid to
her children. In the feature, Hull states, “I didn’t want my families trapped in the conflict areas in the Northern and Eastern
children to grow up and just see me on welfare; I wanted them Provinces, including two resettlement areas, seven communities
to see a strong woman.” Hull became involved in local training where the agency already works and in IDP camps.
that taught her how to open a home-based daycare center, and
within a few months she had used business training and a seed
capital grant from Trickle Up to launch her center in Brooklyn,
COO of Save the Children Joins Blackbaud’s Board of
NY. She now has two centers and is an inspiration and beacon of
hope in her community. Blackbaud, Inc., the leading provider of software and related
services designed specifically for nonprofit organizations,
Bill Abrams spent his career as a journalist and media executive,
announced that Carolyn Miles, executive vice president and chief
always wanting to affect positive social change. After a 30-year
operating officer of Save the Children has joined its Board of
career working for The Wall Street Journal, ABC News and
Directors. Miles, who has been with Save the Children since
The New York Times, Abrams decided to apply his skills and
1998, is the organization’s second highest ranking executive,
experience to the nonprofit sector. In the feature, Abrams speaks
and is responsible for agency-wide strategic planning as well as
about the microenterprise development organization that he
operations in 50 countries including the United States, with
now leads, Trickle Up. “Part of the fun of life is adding new
more than 6,000 employees worldwide.
chapters and grabbing new opportunities that come along. But
I must say, sitting here right now, I can’t imagine anything that
would be more satisfying than this.”

InterAction Members Lobby UN on Girls Rights, UN Reform
By Suzanne Kindervatter, Vice President of Strategic Impact, InterAction

he hallways of the UN resounded with the voices of for Global Justice and Reconciliation/Washington National
over 300 empowered girls aged 12-17 who brought Cathedral—convened a session on the new Women, Faith and
their demands to the annual UN Commission on the Development Alliance for Advancing Women’s Empowerment
Status of Women (CSW) from February 26 to March and the Millennium Development Goals. NGOs from faith,
9. More than 4,000 representatives from NGOs and global development and women’s organizations packed the
women’s organizations around the world registered for the room for a lively discussion on how faith can be a force for
inter-governmental meeting, which focused on the elimination gender equality.
of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child. WEDO, the Women’s Environment and Development
NGOs also lobbied for adoption of proposals for strengthening Organization, led NGO efforts to secure a new “gender
and consolidating the three women’s entities currently part of architecture” at the UN. NGO advocacy on the UN reforms
the UN. began at last year’s CSW and subsequently was successful in
Many InterAction members played leading roles in highlighting securing strong recommendations from the High Level Panel
specific issues and in lobbying for CSW action. on UN Reform. The recommendations call for elevating the
institutional focus on women within the UN system by combining
World Vision and Plan International collaborated on the panel
three existing entities and creating a new Undersecretary
“Hope for the African Girl Child,” which included two teenage
General focused on women’s empowerment and gender
Kenyan Maasai advocates for the abolishment of female genital
equality. This year, NGO advocacy concentrated on getting
mutilation (FGM). The panel spotlighted challenges including
these recommendations implemented. Through the leadership
girls’ education, child rights, child labor and how girls themselves
of WEDO and the Center for Global Women’s Leadership,
are a leading force for change. When Teresa Cheptoo, one of
almost 200 NGOs signed a letter to UN Member States and
the Kenyan teens, was asked why she chose to go through an
the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon endorsing the proposals for
alternative right of passage, she stated, “through my education,
upgrading women’s equality work within the UN.
I learned about the dangers of FGM and HIV/AIDS and
the importance of education. This has helped the community On International Women’s Day, which fell during the CSW,
because I have taken what I learned to others in my hometown. the Secretary General made his first public statement on gender
I know boys who have not married girls who are circumcised and equality and the UN reform process. He called on the UN to be
also girls who say they will not be circumcised at all.” at the forefront of empowering women and girls and for member
states to move forward. “I encourage Member States to study
The International Center for Research on Women’s (ICRW)
the possibility of replacing several current structures with one
activities at CSW focused on early marriage. The panel
dynamic UN entity….It should mobilize forces of change at the
“Too Young to Wed: Ending Child Marriage in Developing
global level, and inspire enhanced results at the country level.”
Countries” revealed that more than 50 million girls throughout
the developing world are married, some as young as 7 years InterAction members and other NGOs at the CSW will be
old, with devastating consequences for girls, their families watching whether all the words agreed upon will be put into
and communities. Presenters also shared the good news that action. As NGO delegates left New York, they committed to keep
innovative, community-based efforts appear to be providing up their collective pressure for making the recommendations on
viable alternatives to early marriage. ICRW also supported a girls’ rights and gender equality in the UN a reality.
resolution on Forced and Early Marriage, which was adopted by For information on the official UNCSW outcomes,
consensus by government delegates. The U.S., which originally womenwatch/daw/csw/51sess.htm ; for NGO perspectives and
sponsored the resolution, withdrew its sponsorship due to the advocacy,
inclusion of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination
Against Women and Child Rights, as well as language related to
reproductive health and sexual rights. Kathy Selvaggio, Senior
Policy Advocate, reported that “ICRW was pleased to play a
key role in the decision making process. We are also pleased SAVE THE DATE: MAY 2
that the U.S. took the initiative to champion the resolution, but
disappointed the U.S. could not sponsor it in the end.” Clinton Presidential Library to Host 2nd Annual
Southern Agenda for Change Meeting
Several InterAction members—the International Rescue
Committee, the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women Little Rock, Arkansas
and Children and Christian Children’s Fund—joined forces WHY (World Hunger Year), Heifer International and the
on a panel on the protection and reproductive health needs of Clinton Foundation are proud to sponsor this year’s Southern
refugee and internally displaced women and girls. A focus of Agenda for Change, a day to contemplate innovative
the presentation was the Neighborhood Method, an innovative solutions to hunger and poverty in the southern region of
strategy for collecting accurate reproductive health data in the United States. For additional info, please contact Rhonda
displaced communities. Everman, Heifer International:
InterAction’s Commission on the Advancement of Women or (859) 497-0603.
—with Women’s Edge, Religions for Peace and the Center

APRIL 2007 
By Theresa A. McCaffrey, Georgetown Public Policy Institute

ending y home
In the past few years, the flow of remittances—money sent by therefore, that the growth is merely a function of more remit-
migrants to their home countries—has captured the interest of tances being sent through official channels and better accounting
the development community. Scholars and practitioners alike are techniques on the part of national governments.
striving to figure out the impact of remittances on development But the inaccuracy of the data is only one of the difficulties of
and the implications for the future of both development and in- studying the link between remittances and development. This
ternational migration. money is never in the control of a government or development
There are several reasons for this growing attention to remit- agency; it belongs to and is spent or invested by individuals and
tances. Perhaps the most important is the sheer volume of re- households. Many studies have examined the impact of remit-
mittances sent on an annual basis, which dwarfs the amount of tances on local economies. The gist of this literature is that remit-
development aid that is given. According to the World Bank, tances are a remarkably stable form of capital transfer. They may,
remittances accounted for approximately $226 billion across all in fact, be countercyclical, compensating for downturns in the
countries in 2004, while official development assistance given economies of migrant-sending countries, although the degree
by countries in the OECD Development Assistance Committee of this countercyclical nature is debated. In a straightforward
was about $79 billion. A second reason is the direction of these manner, remittances raise the incomes of households in develop-
transfers, which is primarily into developing countries (about ing countries. In doing so, they also affect the local economy
$160 billion of the $226 billion in 2004). Third, this transfer in ways that may be detrimental to other households because
is “free money,” creating neither debt nor future obligation on of their inflationary effects. The impact of remittances on in-
the part of the developing countries. Finally, and of paramount equality tends to mirror the type of migration experienced in the
importance to the present remittance enthusiasm, is the accelera- migrant-sending country. In some countries, those who migrate
tion witnessed in recent years of the remittance phenomenon. and send remittances back to their families are among the most
In 1990, $31 billion was transferred to developing countries; in educated, while in other countries, it is the lowest skilled workers
1995, $58 billion; in 2000, $86 billion; and in 2005, a projected who migrate.
$167 billion. There is significantly less literature comparing the developmental
However, a note of caution is necessary when considering data on impacts of remittances on a macroeconomic cross-country basis.
remittances in general and their growth in particular. Although An important study by Richard H. Adams, Jr., and John Page
there are official numbers, their accuracy is questionable. The of the World Bank found that remittances help reduce the level,
numbers come from national accounts data and are compiled depth and severity of poverty in developing countries. The Inter-
on a country level by central banks. They are often calculated national Monetary Fund has released many papers investigating
inconsistently and, especially for developing countries, without the impact of remittances on economic growth. One by Ralph
the adequate resources. Usually only money sent through official Chami, Connel Fullenkamp and Samir Jahjah found remittances
channels can be accurately tracked. For many reasons—immigra- have no significant impact on growth. Another by Paola Giuliano
tion status, safety and fee avoidance being a few—remittances and Marta Ruiz-Arranz found that remittances have a more posi-
may instead be routed through informal channels. tive impact on growth in countries with low levels of financial
development. In this case, remittances compensate for the lack of
The money generally referred to as remittances actually com-
access to credit and provide capital for investment.
prises three categories in national accounts data. First there are
“workers’ remittances” which consists of money transferred by Even if remittances do not spur on development in an absolute
migrants who move to another country for a period of one year sense, it may be possible to direct them into channels that will
or longer. “Compensation of employees” represents the wages, help to spur development. Manuel Orozco and Rachel Fedewa
salaries and benefits earned by nonresident workers who migrate of the Inter-American Dialogue mention a range of the policy
for less than a year. Finally, “migrants’ transfers” corresponds to options that can enhance the developmental impact of remit-
the financial transactions that accompany the change of residence tances including: reaching out to diasporas working abroad, re-
of the worker from one country to another. Although only the ducing the costs of sending remittances, providing banking ser-
first of these three is officially called remittances, the public dis- vices for unbanked remittance senders and receivers, providing
course on remittances and studies of their economic effects gen- investment and micro-enterprise opportunities for remittance
erally include at least the first two and, most often, all three. monies, encouraging the use of hometown associations to chan-
nel money towards local development and marketing tourism
Lindsay Lowell of Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of In-
and “nostalgic trade” to migrants.
ternational Migration points out that the rapid growth in remit-
tances sent from the U.S. cannot be reconciled with the leveling Development agencies and the international financial institutions
off of both migration and migrants’ wages in the U.S. He argues, are encouraging these policies through a range of programs. The

Remittances—money sent by migrants to their home countries—has captured the interest of
the development community in the past few years. According to the World Bank, remittances
accounted for approximately $226 billion across all countries in 2004. There are more ways to
send money home. For example, Latin American immigrants in Washington, DC can now choose
between banks (top) and wire services (bottom) for sending money home.

Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Develop-

ment Bank has been the major player in this field since 2001, pro-
viding tens of millions of dollars in grants to over twenty projects
that seek to increase the developmental impact of remittances
in many ways—support for returned entrepreneurs, encouraging
homeownership, providing micro-enterprise opportunities and
providing rural banking services to name a few. Their current
goal is to halve the cost of sending remittances and double the
number of households receiving remittances through the formal
financial system by 2010.
USAID has undertaken several projects on remittances, includ-
ing a grant to the World Council of Credit Unions in 2002 to
help credit unions enter the remittance marketplace. On a coun-
try level, around the world but with a focus on Latin America,
USAID has partnered with banks and corporations to help de-
velop the technology to send remittances securely and transpar-
ently. Other federal agencies are also taking an interest in the
sending of remittances. In 2003, the U.S. FDIC and Mexico’s
Consulate General launched the New Alliance Task force that
brings together banks, NGOs and government agencies to help
immigrants to access the U.S. banking system.
On the NGO level, many of the remittance and development
projects follow naturally from previous efforts in the areas of mi-
cro-enterprise and financial sector development, targeted to ar-
eas that receive large amounts of remittances. But the full range
of possibilities is much broader and includes networking efforts
to keep migrants in touch with their home communities. Home-
town associations of migrants can provide a natural mechanism
for funding small-scale development, generally infrastructure
projects and NGOs can help with both organizational support
and technical assistance to these associations. For example, the
Dutch Oxfam affiliate has been involved with connecting Afri-
cans working in the Netherlands to help organize hometown
associations and carry out development projects in Burundi,
Ghana and Somalia.
Despite the current levels of enthusiasm about remittances as a
development tool, they are not a development panacea. Their
real impact on local and national economies in developing coun-
tries remains to be seen. However, the vast amount of money
being transferred to developing countries cannot be ignored and
should, to the extent possible, be taken into account in formulat-
ing development strategies and projects.

Theresa A. McCaffrey is currently working on her Masters in Public Policy

at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.

Photos: courtesy of Theresa A. McCalfrey

APRIL 2007 11
From Disaster to Conflict Early Warning:
A People-Centered Approach

By Patrick Meier, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

he occurrence of natural disasters amid complex politi- temporary disasters. Finally, the shift towards people-centered di-
cal crises is increasingly widespread: over 140 natural saster management also reflects the belated recognition that local
disasters have occurred alongside complex political cri- communities have consistently developed sophisticated strategies
ses in the past five years alone. To make matters worse, and complex institutions to manage the constant threat of inse-
the conflation of disasters with protracted conflicts curity in their lives. In fact, estimates suggest that no more than
may accelerate dramatically given the vagaries of climate change. 10 percent of survival in emergencies is attributable to external
How should we prepare and respond? According to the tradi- sources of relief aid. To this end, the 2006 UN Global Survey of
tional discourse in the disaster management literature, “we in Early Warning Systems defines the purpose of people-centered
the West are the rescuers and aid does not start until we arrive.” early warning as follows: “To empower individuals and commu-
Unfortunately, we rarely show up; hence the importunate reality nities threatened by hazards to act in sufficient time and in an
of “neglected crises” and “forgotten emergencies.” This is un- appropriate manner so as to reduce the possibility of personal
likely to change any time soon. Despite welcome commitments injury, loss of life, damage to property and the environment and
by a handful of international donors to contribute to a new UN loss of livelihoods.” It is worth emphasizing that the discourse
Central Emergency Response Fund, most governments have so has shifted away from the conventional division of labor between
far failed to muster the political will to follow through. While the “warners” and “responders.”
centralized modes of disaster management lose effectiveness, al-
ternative studies have recently sought to explore the capacity of
disaster-affected communities to bounce back or recover with Current Trends
little or no external assistance following a disaster. This article The disaster management field is progressively focusing on—and
addresses the trend towards people-centered disaster manage- learning from—indigenous disaster response practices. In Swa-
ment. ziland, for example, we are taught that floods can be predicted
from the height of bird nests near rivers, while moth numbers
predict drought. Because these indicators are informal, they
Tipping Points rarely figure in peer-reviewed journals and remain invisible to the
What were the main tipping points that led to the shift in this international humanitarian community. Reassuringly, the UN
discourse? Three in particular come to mind: ideology, complex- International Strategy for Disaster Reduction is taking steps to
ity and locality. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for al- empower traditional knowledge systems that render local com-
ternative concepts of security, with human security taking center munities more self-adaptable to dynamic disaster environments.
stage. With this came the realization that centralized models of In many of these projects, community-based codes and protocols
action and thinking were no match for the complexities of con- are jointly defined to ensure reliable preparedness and disaster

“To empower individuals and communities threatened by hazards to act in sufficient time and in
an appropriate manner so as to reduce the possibility of personal injury, loss of life, damage to
property and the environment and loss of livelihoods.” It is worth emphasizing that the discourse
has shifted away from the conventional division of labor between the “warners” and “responders.”

response measures with minimal need for external intervention. when conducting maneuvers of defensive dispersion. A realistic
This involves the blending into indigenous settings high tech- appreciation of impending violence based on a people-centered
nology such as cell phones, handheld global positioning systems approach also makes it possible to motivate civilian groups to re-
(GPS) and other technologies of cooperation including wikis. spond early in conceiving plans for evasive action and protection.
While the disaster management field has shifted towards a people- According to the expanding literature on nonviolence, the orga-
centered approach, the conflict management community has yet nizational template most useful for response in dynamic conflict
to embrace the new discourse and practice. Conflict prevention environments is a community-based network since networks are
and early warning remain centralized and hierarchical exercises better able to self-adapt tactically and weather repression.
bent on prediction rather than preparedness. Formal early warn- In his comprehensive and highly recommended operational
ing systems still emphasize the division of labor between “war- guide on local disaster- and conflict-response strategies, Casey
ners” and “responders” in that they are still designed to trigger Barrs suggests that at-risk communities can learn from one an-
responses external to the immediate disaster environment. As other about what dispersed and hidden livelihoods look like. For
Casey Barrs of The Cuny Center has noted, perhaps 99 percent example, they can learn how to “dismantle their village homes
of what we read about conflict early warning refers to regional and build temporary huts near their fields as the Vietnamese
or international systems. Logically, these systems are designed sometimes did in the face of American airpower. Or use crop col-
with the interests of governments in mind: to control and remain ors and canopies that are
abreast of escalating violence well beyond their own borders or less noticeable from the
capital cities. Local communities remain completely unaware air, as Salvadoran peas-
that these systems even exist. Barrs explains, “Alerts, bulletins ants sometimes planted.”
and reports are sent around the world in real time. Yet they rarely People-centered conflict
touch ground where the killing happens.” Surely, the democratic early warning and pre-
flow of information is the first condition for a democratic and paredness clearly works,
open system of people-centered disaster preparedness. as evidenced by ample
case studies available
in the nonviolence lit-
Future Implications
erature. Interestingly, al-
The lesson here is perhaps self-evident: promote systems that are though not surprisingly,
tailored for local use and are generated on site in order to pre- people-centered conflict
pare for both natural disasters and impending conflict. Evidently, early warning predates
the local human factor is critical for effectual preparedness and today’s centralized and formal early warning systems by several
self-adaptation in dynamic environments. Barnett Rubin suggests centuries. Africans, for example, have enjoyed a long tradition
that “there is something about the complexity of human experi- of people-centered approaches to conflict management. At the
ence that suggests that a different kind of knowledge [is] needed, American Council on Africa (ACA), Koureissy Condé seeks to
the quality called by the ancient Greeks metis, or practical wis- promote precisely these traditional methods and to render them
dom.” People-centered early warning with respect to conflict more visible to us in the international humanitarian community.
would therefore seek to build on local capacities and ingenuity ACA’s mission is to incorporate the best practices of tradition-
to empower individuals to act in time to reduce the possibility of al African peace-making into the international peace-building
personal injury. Rubin also notes that preventing violent conflict agenda. In sum, ACA seeks to redress the balance between the
requires more than just monitoring the causes of conflict and the need for external assistance and the capacity of local communities
testing policy instruments. To be sure, prevention efforts should to ‘bounce back.’ This is a trend well worth following.
also seek to galvanize social and political movements since “the
framework for response is inherently political, and the task of ad-
vocacy for such response cannot be separated from the analytical Patrick Meier is a Ph.D. candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and
Diplomacy in Washington, DC. More information on the author’s work can
tasks of warning.” be found at
Why then are conflict prevention efforts and local nonviolent Photo: courtesy of Darcy Kiefel
movements erroneously assumed to be conceptually and opera- Image: courtesy of the American Council on Africa
tionally distinct in the practice of conflict management? Tactical
evasion, for example, is a central component of strategic nonvio-
lence: people must be capable of concealment and dispersion.
Getting out of harm’s way and preparing people for the worst ef-
fects of violence requires sound intelligence and timely strategic
estimates. Put differently, people-centered early warning is vital

APRIL 2007 13
By David Alpher, Coordinator, Conflict Mitigation Programs, Winrock International

he end of the Cold War brought with it a spike in the The Present
level of conflict worldwide that governments in gen-
The original “mainstreaming” goal of the groups that began
eral—and the development field specifically—were ill-
work on the subject has largely succeeded. USAID’s 2007 Con-
equipped to address. Responding to the human cost
gressional Budget Justification lists $214 million for conflict
and loss of development progress, a number of high-
mitigation programs. This number has increased every year since
level organizations began to re-examine the role of conflict dy-
2003 and does not include other solicitations that now require a
namics within development work.
description of how an otherwise non conflict-related project will
Two trends began gathering momentum. One was a focus within work with local social and conflict dynamics. The dollar figure
the donor community on the role of development in addressing that represents is obviously far higher. The $2 billion Integrated
conflict. The other was a shift in the development community’s Water and Coastal Resources Management Indefinite Quantity
perception of its own neutrality regarding, and the role it must Contract (WATER II IQC), for example, contains a sizeable
take in alleviating, the causes and conditions of conflict. conflict mitigation component. Multilateral donors including
The first of these trends is reflected in statements within the Mil- the World Bank are now requiring social and cultural assessments
lennium Development Goals and publications from EUROPA prior to implementing an increasing number of their projects.
(the European Union’s portal site), the UN and nearly every The countries where development organizations work are in-
national bilateral development donor, placing peace and conflict creasingly characterized by heightened levels of civil instability.
center-stage. The U.S. government’s new Foreign Assistance DFID lists 46 developing countries as “fragile,” and many coun-
Framework indicates that USAID policy now accords conflict tries not so listed are also conflict-prone, or in so-called “bad
resolution the same cross-cutting importance as gender and envi- neighborhoods.” No consistent list of conflicts exists, but put
ronmental issues, combined with a global focus on democratiza- simply, the vast majority of developing countries can be termed
tion and civil stabilization initiatives. Current donor focus places conflict-affected or conflict-prone. Indeed, as documented in
a premium on proposals and projects emphasizing a landscape a recent Humanitarian Policy Group briefing paper, attacks on
approach that reliably assesses and addresses fragilities and con- NGO personnel have doubled every year from 1997 to 2005. In
flict dynamics even if conflict itself is not the main focus. There is the past three years alone, 83 NGO workers have been killed in
an increasing emphasis on projects that weave resilience-building the field and another 81 injured. Although recent studies claim
elements into work done in strained societies so that they can a decrease in the number of armed conflicts worldwide, they
safely absorb the changes stemming from development work. do not take into account a parallel increase in inter-communal,
crime/corruption related and “unofficial” conflicts, which, while
deadly and disruptive, feature only civilian combatants, not sol-
The Roots diers; a poignantly important point for the development field as
The trend of donor focus on conflict has accelerated rapidly over it becomes increasingly difficult to separate beneficiaries, com-
the past ten years. Beginning in 1997, the Development Assis- batants and victims.
tance Committee (DAC) at the Organization for Economic Co-
The increasing role of development as “foreign policy by other
operation and Development (OECD) produced one of the first
means” has not gone unnoticed in the developing world, and
manifestations of the trend among donors, a task force on con-
NGOs face a waning faith in the concept of their neutrality.
flict that published (in 2001) the DAC Guidelines on Helping
This is due in part to increasing interconnection between gov-
Prevent Violent Conflict, which became a roadmap on the sub-
ernmental/military elements and development work and is, as
ject. In the aftermath of 9/11, the 2002 National Security Strat-
explained in a September 2006 Monday Developments article by
egy elevated development to a highlighted position and linked
Robyn Shepherd, “exacerbated by perceptions…that some agen-
it overtly to U.S. foreign policy. This was followed by Andrew
cies are advocating, publicly or non-publicly, agendas of change
Natsios’ formation of the Conflict Management and Mitigation
or transformation which go counter to a community’s history,
section within USAID a year later. Within the development com-
social, cultural, religious or political inclinations.” The focal
munity, Mary Anderson’s 1999 book Do No Harm, became a
point of this article is that development work by definition alters
landmark on the subject, mainstreaming conflict awareness with-
social dynamics and balances, the distribution of scarce and often
in the development community.
zero-sum resources and the relationships and power structures
The development community is forced to consider conflict on in which it operates; and is thus inseparable from present and
two fronts. One is the dwindling protection of “neutrality” as potential conflict dynamics and factors of both fragility and re-
foreign policy increasingly merges with development work, with silience. This raises deep questions about whether development
concomitant risks. The other is its own role in conflict dynamics. work can be considered neutral at all. Neutral or not, these side
effects of development work must be taken into account deliber-
ately and transparently so that beneficial side effects can be built
into development projects from the moment of inception.

Photo: courtesy of Jiro Ose

The Future Path

As conflict awareness mainstreams into the field and money for wards through the interactions of those structures with national
conflict mitigation work increases, the message is that any or- analogues. For proxy evidence of the seriousness of this, witness
ganization that cannot show an expertise in conflict mitigation the number of organizations recently ejected from Uzbekistan
is behind the curve. Many organizations have stepped up to do for alteration of power and relationship. Thankfully no lives were
the work. Conflict mitigation has long been considered discon- lost—but the work was.
nected from “regular” development work and characterized as The development community must justify its work by articulat-
a fairly narrow set of peace-brokering activities, but because of ing how it purposefully, positively affects conflict dynamics. De-
the inherent social alterations mentioned above, this is a false velopment organizations need a way to offset the increasingly
dichotomy. overt politicization of development work and the waning faith in
Development work cannot rest with “doing no harm” as a neu- their intent. They need to be prepared to understand and oper-
tral point, with positive effect on conflict dynamics an inadver- ate in volatile environments; and most particularly, they need to
tent by-product. It must instead rise to find innovative fulcrums be aware that their work can cause volatility in otherwise stable,
to leverage all development projects to build resiliency and re- if impoverished, environments. Aside from the human cost, these
stabilize unstable environments. There is no neutral point to be alterations will affect project dynamics and operational condi-
reached unless this is internalized. When determining its rela- tions.
tionship to politics (with a “small p,” meaning power and re- The range of thinking on the subject of the development field’s
lationships), the development community is beginning to take interaction with conflict must expand to stay ahead of the curve.
ownership of its effect at the community level—which takes Indeed, if the most ethical point is to be made, the development
place within the smallest family units through local ethnic, vil- field must define the curve.
lage, tribal, religious and regional structures of governance, on-

APRIL 2007 15
Impact Evaluation for Development
By Jessica Gottlieb, Program Coordinator Center for Global Development

ilateral assistance has doubled in the past five years, Impact evaluations can be expensive and technically challenging
but has our learning about what works in develop- because they study which observed impacts can be attributed to
ment kept pace? Do we know a lot more today about a particular intervention and not other factors. The knowledge
the impacts of different social and economic programs they generate is a public good, which can be useful for many
in developing countries? Few observers would say we decision-makers beyond those involved in the design and imple-
do. Virtually all of the focus in development aid has been on do- mentation of a particular program. For that reason, no individual
ing (disbursing funds and getting programs up and running) and program manager or funding agency has incentive to invest suf-
not on learning (finding out whether interventions are making as ficiently in them. Importantly, impact evaluations must be built
big a difference or saving as many lives as hoped). into project design. Yet when programs start up, other priorities
garner a greater share of the available resources and attention.
But there are hints that a new trend is emerging. Leaders in
As Gloria Rubio from Mexico’s Ministry of Social Development
developing countries and donor agencies are recognizing the
points out, “Incentives exist to spend funds allocated at the be-
systematic failure to learn and are beginning to respond. The
ginning of the year by the year’s end in whatever way possible.”
motivation for this change is a growing frustration about not
Despite these disincentives, with the right combination of lead-
knowing what works. As Timothy Thahane, Lesotho’s Minister
ership, funds and focus, impact evaluations can be done.
of Finance, explained, “There is increasing frustration among us
in developing countries about the prescriptive ‘fads’ about what Mexico’s Progresa program illustrates the feasibility and pow-
works and what improves the quality of life for all people sustain- er of evaluating the impact of social programs. Implemented
ably.” with a double mandate to reduce poverty and to learn about
the effectiveness of a new intervention, Progresa started giv-
As noted by the Center for Global Development’s Evaluation
ing conditional cash transfers to women in 1997 with a built-in
Gap Working Group, “[The] shortcomings in our knowledge of
impact evaluation component. The rigorously designed evalua-
the effects of social policies and programs reflect a gap in both
tion revealed that Progesa significantly raised rates of secondary
the quantity and quality of impact evaluations.” Impact evalua-
school enrollment and improved child and adult health through
tions measure the net effects of a particular intervention (adult
increased use of health services. This clear evidence of impact
literacy programs, HIV prevention efforts and microfinance,
not only helped program designers improve the program, but
e.g.) on key social outcomes such as women’s employment,
also played a critical role in helping it survive the transition from
morbidity and mortality or household income. Yet there will be
the Zedillo administration to the Fox administration with only
a persistent shortage of impact evaluations unless specific new
a name change from Progresa to Oportunidades. Today, condi-
efforts are undertaken.

Generating knowledge about whether a program achieved its basic aims requires impact
evaluation, which analyzes and documents the extent to which changes in the well-being of the
target population can be attributed to a particular program or policy. Such evaluation tries to
answer the question: “What difference did this program make?”

Impact evaluation asks about the difference
between what happened with the program
and what would have happened without Myth vs. Fact
it. For example, “Are children staying in It is commonly held that impact evaluations:
primary school and learning more than they
a Tell us little we do not already know about social programs. But
would have without this particular curriculum good studies can avoid costly mistakes and prevent doing harm.
or teaching innovation?” This difference is
a Are not needed to demonstrate success. But good studies can
the impact of the program.
identify successes even under adverse circumstances, where
success means doing less badly.
tional cash transfer programs are multiplying throughout neigh-
boring countries, in large part because of the rigorous impact a Are not necessary to know which programs work. But good
evaluation that accompanied Mexico’s intervention. Spurred by studies distinguish real successes from apparent successes.
the demonstrated impact of the Progresa study and the influence
of visionary leadership in government, Mexico has passed legisla- a Cannot address important issues. But current methods can
tion and formed a new national council to promote the use of answer questions that are important to social policy decisions.
impact evaluations in future social programs. a Cannot be ethically implemented. But ethical issues can indeed
Impact evaluations are gaining attention. The World Bank’s De- be managed.
velopment Impact Evaluation (DIME) initiative is a new effort
a Are too costly. But ignorance is more expensive than impact
to increase the number of Bank projects with impact evaluation
components and improve staff capacity to design and carry out
such evaluations. A network of donor evaluation constituencies a Produce results too late to be useful for decision-makers. But
has created a joint task force to address the challenge of produc- impact evaluations can provide timely information.
ing more and better impact evaluations. Called the Network of
Networks for Impact Evaluation (NONIE), this initiative aims to a Do not provide important information about how programs
coordinate and promote impact evaluations among the organi- operate. But impact evaluations complement other studies; they
zations within its three component networks: bilateral develop- do not replace them.
ment agencies, multilateral development banks and UN agen- a Are too complex and do not influence policy-making. But findings
cies. It plans to develop guidelines and create an online impact from impact evaluation can be simple and transparent.
evaluation resource to support studies by NONIE members.
Source of information in this box and pull-quotes: Savedoff, William
But it is not just development agencies that are seeking to D., Ruth Levine and Nancy Birdsall, When Will We Ever Learn?
change behavior when it comes to learning about development Improving Lives through Impact Evaluation. A Center for Global
programs. Leaders in developing countries are also looking for Development Working Group Report. Washington, DC (2006).
change. Margaret Kakande from Uganda’s Ministry of Finance,
Planning and Economic Development said it best: “Countries
know where they want to be, but they may not know the best
way of getting there. We would like to see the development of a commitment of funds, participation in governance and sharing
new institution which can help us generate and use impact evalu- information and impact evaluation data. Members will help set
ation findings and help build capacity within our country to de- the enduring questions agenda, receive priority for funding and
velop evidence and answer some of our enduring questions.” technical review services, and enjoy better access to coordinate
with and learn from other members conducting impact evalua-
One response to this demand is a new initiative to coordinate and tions. Member institutions can be ministries or public agencies
fund new impact evaluations among both donors and developing (bilateral, multilateral), private non-profit institutions or non-
countries. In discussions concerning the findings of the Center state organizations that finance or implement social and econom-
for Global Development working group report, a set of lead- ic programs in low- and middle-income countries committed to
ing governments of low- and middle-income countries, donor the 3IE mission. The countries and agencies involved in design-
agencies, philanthropic foundations and non-state organizations ing 3IE have done so with the aim of making it feasible and
concluded that a new entity should be established to channel attractive for such institutions to join. Members are expected to
funds to high-quality, independent impact evaluations around confirm their commitments to 3IE over the next several months
key questions that confront policy-makers. while leadership and a host institution are recruited.
The provisionally titled International Initiative for Impact Evalu- As more funds become available to answer key questions about
ation (3IE) aspires to initiate a collective process of selecting what works in development, new opportunities will arise for
enduring questions about how to improve social and economic NGOs in rich and poor countries to participate in furthering the
development programs, identify programs that represent oppor- learning process. As more evidence from studies is produced,
tunities for learning about those questions, adopt quality stan- civil society will take a lead role in ensuring that the findings are
dards, finance the design and implementation of impact evalu- communicated to policy-makers and program designers in order
ations, prepare syntheses of the knowledge generated, advocate to improve social and economic development interventions. The
for the use of this evidence, share and disseminate information hope is that within five years this focus on learning through bet-
and promote mutual capacity development. ter impact evaluation will embody a new approach in develop-
3IE membership will be voluntary and comprised of organi- ment assistance that combines the good will to improve the lives
zations that fulfill a set of minimum obligations including the of the poor with the resources to find out how best to do it.

APRIL 2007 17
World Commodity Prices
and Food Security
By Paul B. Green and Richard Fritz

rganizations invested in the future of food secu- in time” nature of the world’s busi-
rity of developing countries must be aware of the ness community affects the food in-
confluence of events in world agricultural markets dustry where the carry-over (stocks
that are driving commodity prices higher and mak- of one year’s crop that remain avail-
ing markets even more vulnerable to dramatic price able to the market immediately prior
volatility. These factors will have immediate negative effects on to the next year’s harvest) of major
food security and food aid, but may present the opportunity for grains and oilseeds is at record low lev-
longer-term positive incentives for agricultural development in els compared with total use. This adds
the developing world. to volatility, since it means that there is
no buffer when a localized shock such as
drought or flood spreads beyond the re-
Mandates and Food vs. Fuel gion first hit, or when numerous disasters
President Bush’s recent proposal to increase biofuel production occur in a single year.
to 35 billion gallons in the name of energy independence has giv-
en even more impetus to the already existing gold rush mental-
ity of investment in turning U.S. agriculture products into fuel. Effect on Food Aid
This ‘biofuel hysteria’ has hit nearly every country with grain The demand for ethanol and biodiesel feed-
surpluses as farmers and politicians seek more stable demand and stock has already and will continue to increase
higher prices for farmers. the demand and price of corn, soybeans and wheat, and thus
have direct and residual affects on U.S. food aid assistance. The
As corn prices increase, buyers will compete for corn to enter
U.S. food aid budget does not accommodate price increases, so
either the food or fuel markets. A recent study published by the
the ironic result is that when the need is worst, resources are the
Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa
smallest. Agriculture and humanitarian groups are already lob-
State University estimates that the corn-based ethanol industry
bying to increase the food aid budget to offset the price impact.
will drive the price of U.S. corn to $4.05 per bushel. Corn prices
Increased prices also reinvigorate the argument that food aid
have already hit ten-year highs, mostly due to the ethanol man-
purchases should be made locally, rather than buying food in the
date and expansion. Higher prices give farmers economic incen-
U.S. and shipping it overseas. Nothing is gained in that debate,
tives to plant more acres of corn and less of other crops, includ-
as the most obvious point is that more resources are needed to
ing soybeans and wheat. Some farmers will no doubt shift from
assist the most vulnerable.
a corn-soybean rotation to a corn-corn-soybean rotation. The
CARD study also estimates that wheat prices will increase 20
percent with a corresponding small reduction in wheat acreage. Developing Country Agriculture and Trade Policy
There may also be a shift from wheat acreage to other crops such Impacts
as oilseeds and plants that are a better fuel stock (e.g., switch-
grass). Incentives are also being given to biodiesel created from As the food and fuel competition heats up, there will be an eco-
oilseeds—the major biofuel investment in the European Union. nomic and political push to improve yields through genetic al-
terations and a push to make such gains have a similar impact
Changes in U.S. corn and soybean prices have a global impact. on production by farmers in developing countries. This could
Increased U.S. prices allow farmers in many parts of the world actually temper the debate over the production and trade of ge-
to also benefit by demanding higher prices, which translate into netically modified organisms (GMOs). Conservation or “set-
larger incomes. As corn, soybean and wheat prices rise, so will aside lands” in the U.S. and other nations may be put back into
the prices of beef, pork, poultry and dairy products. The in- production. Higher prices will also lower support payments to
creased price of feed may benefit integrated farming operations, farmers in developed countries—a step that developing nations
but harm producers who purchase feed to produce meat and have pressed for in World Trade Organization negotiations.
Higher world prices should encourage net corn, wheat and soy-
Exacerbating this price shock is the trend for global food systems bean importing nations to further reduce import barriers for
to operate over the last decade on ever-smaller stocks. The “just these products. Reduced import barriers would limit the nega-

U.S. Monthly Corn Price
Dollars Per Bushel





Short term pain and

disruption caused by
high commodity prices
may lead to more
ov 5

N -06
D -05

D -06
ay 5

ay 6
Se -05

Se -06
O -05

Ja -05

O -06

Ja -06
Fe -05

Fe -06

Fe -07
Ju -05

Ju -06
A l-05
M 05
A -05

J u 05

A l-06
M 06
A -06

J u 06

M 07
sustainable agriculture
N -0
M r-0

M r-0














and food markets in

Source: CBOT
the developing world.

tive impact on local food and feed use by reducing costs to con- from some groups that argue that energy security for developed
sumers and intermediate users of grain. Exporting nations may countries is being gained at the expense decreased food security
take the opposite approach: Argentina has already announced in the developing world.
limits on corn exports due to high prices and has implemented a However, this era of higher prices may present opportunities for
partial ban on meat product exports. India is looking at a similar farmers in developing countries to more easily obtain capital for
export ban. investment in improved productive capacity, seeds, fertilizer and
Several variables will determine the magnitude of the impact. enhanced marketing. Now is the time for development groups
First, oil prices would need to stay “high” to keep the focus on to implement safety net strategies to protect the most vulnerable
alternative fuels. In addition, government subsidies, mandates from high prices and provide the productive agriculture produc-
and import duties on foreign ethanol would need to be main- ers with capital for investment in a sustainable and productive
tained, at least in the short term. Lastly, price incentives may future.
provide the impetus for crop production breakthroughs or ad- For the food security community, the debate should not be
ditional research in other alternative energy technologies that about food versus fuel. The reality that use of grains for fuel in
could make biofuels from crops obsolete. the developed world is a policy that garners strong support from
many sides must be acknowledged. Higher commodity prices are
Role of the Humanitarian and Development likely to be with us for some time. Those in the international
Community development arena must accept higher food product prices, de-
termine how that will affect their humanitarian and development
Food prices have always fluctuated and relatively high prices programs and plan for these changes.
have nearly always done their job—signaling to farmers the need
to plant more. That expanded production has meant inevitable
gluts and corresponding price drops. For the developing world’s Paul B. Green is an agricultural economist and consultant based in
farmers, this has brought a cycle of hope followed by despair, Washington, DC advising grain processing and exporting companies and
associations on international trade and food aid. Email comments and
fears of bankruptcy, disinvestment and instability. The new bio- questions to
fuel demand could change these food price cycles, perhaps per- Richard Fritz, based in Denver, Colorado, is an international trade
manently. consultant specializing in the food industry and the former General Sales
Manager at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Email comments and
Development agencies can do little to shield developing coun- questions to
try consumers from the negative income effects of higher world
food and feed prices. Vulnerable groups in every society will feel
the impact of higher food prices and there will be a backlash

APRIL 2007 19
Seeding New Philanthropy: Mobilizing Internal
Resources for Development in Ukraine
By Barbara Felitti, Ukraine Country Director, Institute for Sustainable Communities

apping into support from the corporate sector has be- zenship, enabling members of the business community in Ukraine
come increasingly important in countries where interna- to donate to causes that are important to them and to demonstrate
tional donors are decreasing their funding. In Ukraine, the vital role that corporations can and should play in promoting
as in other transitioning countries, the ability to mobilize corporate social responsibility within the larger Ukrainian commu-
internal resources for development is essential to sustain- nity.
ing its peaceful democratic transition and to fueling continued eco-
nomic growth. 4. Build confidence and enthusiasm for corporate partner-
ships through support of causes that offer a natural fit.
In late 2005, corporate philanthropy began to gain momentum in
Ukraine, creating the promise of significant support for community The Ukrainian Fund for Corporate Citizenship created a ground-
service organizations. One impetus was international investment breaking program to support the development of social entrepre-
following the Orange Revolution in late 2004, as international neurship in Ukraine. Helping socially conscious entrepreneurs and
businesses brought an ethic of corporate social responsibility, in- nonprofits to create a “social purpose business” was a great draw
fluencing both policy and practice. In 2005, for example, Avon for businesspeople who instinctively understood the power of help-
Cosmetics of Ukraine held its first “One Day Walk for Life,” an ing nonprofits expand their impact while increasing their financial
annual event to promote early cancer detection and support for self-sufficiency. Pilot projects they have funded include employing
breast cancer survivors that raised funds for the purchase of por- the homeless to renovate furniture, training the mentally disabled
table mammography machines. Another important motivation for to provide printing services, and the production of audio books for
this trend was the emergence of two funds established by Ukrai- the blind. These and other projects provide important therapeutic
nian business leaders, the Fund for the Development of Ukraine, support and job training as well as income for the participants and
founded in 2005, and the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, founded in the nonprofit organizations.
5. Encourage best practices by bringing existing corporate
Other efforts to seed new philanthropy in Ukraine have not gar- giving initiatives into the context of the global corporate
nered as much attention, but are worth examining for the lessons social responsibility movement.
they may yield for international development practitioners who
seek to encourage corporate giving in the countries in which they As corporate social responsibility gained ground in Ukraine, busi-
work. Six such lessons are distilled below. nesses began to formalize their programs, entering into partner-
ships with community service organizations and making their giv-
1. Find out what businesses are already doing. In Ukraine, ing more transparent. The larger context encouraged Ukrainian
giving by business was common, just not visible. businesses to begin to embrace globally accepted best practices.
For example, ISC helped the Public Relations League of Ukraine
When the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) began to
to develop and publish guidelines for social reporting in coopera-
look into fostering corporate participation in 2003, we soon dis-
tion with its members, which include national businesses such as
covered that the perception that Ukrainian businesses were not giv-
Kyivstar, a mobile phone company, as well as multinationals such
ing was mistaken. Studies we sponsored found that small to large
as the Coca-Cola Company. Another example is USAID’s Global
businesses had been contributing to various causes, but were do-
Development Alliance program, which, with ISC’s help, is bringing
ing so quietly. One reason is cultural, dating back to the tradition
major organizations and leading businesses together to promote
of the “metsenats”—wealthy businessmen who, in the 1800s and
good practices and transparency in corporate philanthropy.
early 1900s, supported public projects and social needs as part of
their responsibility to society. This tradition is reflected in the com- 6. Test new models of corporate philanthropy such as work-
ments of businesspeople who reported giving to a variety of social place giving.
and cultural activities because “it is the right thing to do,” not for
recognition or marketing purposes. In western Ukraine, ISC is working with the Princes-Benefactors
Ostrozky Foundation to promote workplace giving based on the
2. Know the legal environment and how this affects giving. Community Shares USA model. This initiative makes it possible for
many nonprofits to reach out to a number of businesses through
The legal environment presented another obstacle to getting an
a single workplace giving program. Since employees are able to
accurate read on corporate giving. Current legislation allows busi-
select the types of activities and organizations to support, this type
nesses to receive a tax credit for charitable giving of two to five
of program gives social justice and other nonprofits that do not
percent of a company’s profits. However, many businesses still
typically receive corporate funds the chance to gain support. Other
operate in the informal economy, preferring not to report profits.
efforts are underway to help leading businesses such as Nadra Bank
This results in “shadow philanthropy”—giving that is not officially
and NIKO Trade House to develop or expand workplace giving.
We are also helping to introduce new models of mobilizing local
resources that could provide a consistent source of support for tar-
3. Find strategic opportunities to build alliances among
geted communities or issue areas.
businesses and spread the word.
Businesses, particularly Ukrainian businesses, have begun to take
Business alliances have proved invaluable in encouraging new cor-
over the role of international development programs in providing
porate giving. In 2004, ISC teamed up with the American Cham-
financial support for meeting social needs. Indeed, recent surveys
ber of Commerce in Ukraine to provide matching grants to chari-
report that charitable giving is on the rise in Ukraine. Improving
ties, social service organizations and social enterprises throughout
philanthropy’s transparency and effectiveness will help sustain this
Ukraine. In 2005, this partnership, which is also supported by
USAID, was formalized as the Ukrainian Fund for Corporate Citi-

APRIL 2007 21

QUESTION: You recently approved, with Ambassador Tobias, a change in the top-line
goal of U.S. foreign assistance by adding the words “reducing widespread poverty.” What
motivated you to make this change and what are the implications of this new wording for
the U.S. NGOs who partner with the U.S. government?
ANSWER: Even as we had originally defined it, the goal of transformational diplomacy, including the five objec-
tives that we identified, focused on the key actions needed to reduce poverty. A society cannot address poverty
without establishing peace and security, governing justly and democratically, investing in their people, fostering
economic growth and meeting humanitarian need. Our partners in the NGO community relayed to us that adding
the phrase “reduce widespread poverty” to the top-line goal would help communicate more clearly the linkage
between our poverty focus and the goals of transformational diplomacy.

USAID has now adopted the same objectives as the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) by focusing on re-
ducing poverty, investing in people and encouraging economic freedom. However, unlike the MCA, the new
framework under which USAID will now operate does not prioritize the role of civil society in its process. Since
civil society participation (and representation) is an indicator of good governance, where do you see this key
indicator within the new foreign assistance framework?

First, we appreciate the continued efforts of so many NGOs as they help men and women around the world
build vibrant civil societies. We agree that it is extremely important to support an active civil society that can
advocate on behalf of citizens. To this end, we are categorizing the role of civil society under the “governing
justly and democratically” objective. The location of a particular kind of program area in the framework does
not reflect any priority order. Instead, the framework helps guide our dialogue to ensure that we are allocating
our resources to their most effective use.

You have spoken about how central women are to development and security overseas.
How is that priority reflected in U.S. foreign policy programs and budgets?
As represented through a range of United States government programs, women’s empowerment is key to our
development agenda. Programs that address the needs of women are included in each of the objectives of the
framework, with a focus on the areas of investing in people and humanitarian assistance. For example, many
Dr. Condoleezza Rice
of our health programs focus on maternal health and diseases that affect women and children. Our basic edu-
became the 66th United
cation programs focus on enrolling more girls in school, and our humanitarian assistance programs address
States Secretary of State on
January 26, 2005. Her arrival issues of protection for women. We will continue to work for equal rights and equal opportunity for all women
heralded numerous changes around the world.
in U.S. foreign policy and The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 defined both the framework and the way in which U.S. assistance should
foreign assistance that impact be delivered. By changing the latter, the foreign assistance reform process seems to be modifying a key aspect
international humanitarian and
of the Act, without a legislative process. What implications, if any, will the reform process have on the Foreign
development organizations.
Assistance Act of 1961?
For the first time, Secretary
Rice directly addresses the The foreign assistance reforms undertaken to date, including the alignment of all State Department and USAID
InterAction community’s foreign assistance planning and programming under the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance, are designed to
concerns about a myriad maximize current statutory authorities so that we effectively and accountably meet our responsibilities manag-
of issues, including foreign ing all foreign assistance resources. As we just completed our first USAID/State joint budget process, we are
assistance reform. still actively assessing what further changes might be appropriate, both legislative and otherwise. Throughout
our review process, I look forward to continuing to speak with Congress about how we can work together to
improve America’s foreign assistance even further.

In doing so, we must work within the parameters of the Foreign Assistance Act to meet new challenges, al-
though we may seek changes in the future.

Interviewed by
Photos: courtesy of the State Department. Taken from Secretary Rice’s trip to Darfur in July 2005.
Nasserie Carew, InterAction
As the U.S. tries to shed its unpopular image abroad, must be a conversation, not a monologue. I also ask the same of the
the State Department has partnered with PR firms and many generous workers of nongovernmental organizations who are al-
American businesses to help turn around its negative ready showing the best of the American spirit in every corner of the world.
image. U.S.-based humanitarian and relief staff are in many We need your help. We value your service and experience. And we look
cases the only Americans in villages and towns throughout forward to continued discussion of how we can continue our strong efforts
the developing world. Are there any plans to work with our together.
sector as a key partner in rebuilding America’s image?
It is absolutely essential for our foreign policy to communicate the true InterAction members receive over $4 billion annually
essence of the American spirit—the basic belief that all human beings from the American public for our poverty eradication
are born free by nature and equal in dignity. It is this principle that drives programs abroad. Our membership includes both secular
the United States government to seek out dedicated partners in the NGO and faith-based organizations, and we are very committed
community so we can work hand in hand on humanitarian projects. It to ensuring that our millions of supporters, through us,
brings our embassy staff in India together, for example, with Habitat for have a say in how and where their tax dollars are spent
Humanity volunteers to hammer away to rebuild villages devastated by with regard to foreign assistance. What do you see as
floods. After the devastation of the tsunami in Indonesia and the earth- the challenges and benefits of working with our sector in
quake in Pakistan, our government workers were on the scene with NGOs, advancing U.S. foreign policy?
helping facilitate much of their work to ease suffering and save lives. I am very grateful for the ideas, service, and, in many cases, oversight
Our combined humanitarian efforts share the compassion of the American that the NGO community has provided to our foreign assistance programs.
people with the world, and we are also working to further tell our story. Most recently, the NGO community offered invaluable input on the foreign
For this, we look to the relief workers and nongovernmental workers who assistance framework. As you know, one of our key principles in foreign
demonstrate such talent and conviction on the ground. Their actions com- assistance reform is to move from a system of fragmented foreign assis-
municate the true American spirit, and we must use our public diplomacy tance programs to a coherent foreign assistance strategy, developed on a
to amplify the good work we are doing. How we can do this better has country-by-country basis that focuses on country progress. We especially
been an ongoing focus of ours at the State Department. In this day and valued the NGO community’s counsel on the indicators that we will use
age, public diplomacy cannot be the work of the American government to measure our progress, as well as on our process for ensuring that
alone. When I meet with business leaders, athletes and artists, I encour- our foreign assistance resources are integrated, coordinated and compre-
age them to share their experiences of America and their knowledge of hensively targeted towards the goals of our transformational diplomacy.
the American people with foreign audiences, because public diplomacy
continued on page 25

APRIL 2007 23
continued from page 23

And we must continue our coordination to reach our shared mission: to

assist vulnerable people and to support democratic, accountable states
that meet the needs of their people by reducing poverty and governing

Let me recognize that there is much good work occurring because of

nongovernmental and humanitarian organizations, and there is even more
work we would like to support. Unfortunately, as we all know, our funding
limitations force us to make difficult decisions about priorities in individual
countries. No one sector individually will put a country on the path to
progress. Such progress is only achievable if we look at all of these tools
together, and, based on challenges and opportunities on the ground, ad-
dress them coherently as part of an integrated country strategy. These de-
cisions may not always line up with the diverse advice and sector-specific
expertise of each NGO, but we would like to underscore how important it
is for us to hear your different perspectives. Through our continued coop-
eration and constructive engagement with the NGO community, together
we will work toward a more peaceful, free and prosperous world.

InterAction members provide services to displaced

Iraqis—both to those inside the country and to those who
have left Iraq for refuge in Jordan, Syria and other countries
in the Middle East. We welcome the announcement by
the State Department that the U.S. will provide additional
assistance to the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) in order to provide adequate services
to Iraqi refugees, but could you tell us more about the
U.S. commitment to addressing the needs of those Iraqis
who are displaced within their country (IDPs), particularly
as these IDPs outnumber those who have sought refuge
outside of the country?
Photo: courtesy of the State Department
The United States remains committed to providing humanitarian assis-
tance to vulnerable populations in Iraq and in neighboring countries. International aid workers are facing increasingly
To address the needs of conflict victims, internally displaced people (IDPs) dangerous working environments worldwide. What role (if
in Iraq and Iraqi refugees, we are expanding humanitarian assistance, es- any) should the U.S. play in holding those who carry out
pecially in the areas of health, education, shelter, sustainable livelihoods attacks on aid workers responsible?
and protection. The President’s request for Supplemental Fiscal Year International aid workers provide vital services in humanitarian crisis and
2007 funding includes $60 million for humanitarian assistance to Iraqis, conflict situations around the world, and the international community must
and more than $45 million of this funding will be used in Iraq to help work together to ensure a safe environment for them. The United States
people driven and displaced from their homes. We have also notified Con- will continue to work closely with international agencies, other govern-
gress that we are reprogramming an additional $12.8 million from the Iraq ments and NGOs in specific situations to promote safety and security for
Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Fund to USAID’s Bureau of Democracy, humanitarian workers.
Conflict Mitigation and Humanitarian Assistance.
For example, the United States actively supports the International Com-
The United States government response to the significant increase in the mittee of the Red Cross in its work to train and raise awareness among
number of Iraqis displaced by sectarian violence includes: all combatants about the Geneva Conventions and protection of humani-
Increased funding for humanitarian assistance to IDPs and other vul- tarian workers. In the UN Security Council, the United States voted for
nerable Iraqis in Iraq; resolutions 1502 (2003) and 1738 (2006), both of which emphasize the
importance of protecting international humanitarian workers. The United
Funding to protect and find durable solutions for vulnerable non-Iraqi
States continues to support the Convention on the Safety of United Na-
refugees in Iraq;
tions and Associated Personnel. We have been a strong supporter of ad-
Increased funding for protection and assistance programs in neigh- ditional resolutions in the UN General Assembly regarding the safety of
boring countries; and humanitarian workers.
Expansion of UNHCR third-country resettlement. American support for the principles of safety and security for all humanitar-
ian personnel keeps with the high level of humanitarian assistance we pro-
All of these measures mitigate the displacement caused by sectarian vio-
vide worldwide. We fully recognize the irreplaceable and brave role aid work-
lence and contribute directly to stabilizing displaced Iraqi populations and
ers play, and we will continue to do our part to ensure their protection.
to promoting long-term stability in Iraq and the region.

APRIL 2007 25
Deepening Aid Effectiveness Through
the Paris Declaration Framework
By Brian Tomlison, Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC)

he Paris Declaration is an
historic agreement be- ABOUT THE PARIS DECLARATION
tween donors and partner
governments on principles By Kimberly Darter, InterAction
and goals for strengthening The overarching goal of the Paris Declaration, endorsed just over two years ago, on
the effectiveness of aid. The Declara- March 2, 2005, is the harmonization and alignment of aid delivery. With over 100 signa-
tion identifies reform objectives and tories that include government ministers, heads of agencies and other senior officials,
targets that reflect the need to re- the Paris Declaration has become an established framework for aid delivery and devel-
spect and promote local ownership,
opment programs, and is the basis on which many countries, and increasingly donors,
to align with developing country-
are moving forward with their aid delivery and development programs. Including both aid
driven priorities, to make use of local
systems, to harmonize donor efforts recipient countries and donors in its stated commitments, the Paris Declaration seeks to
and to focus on results for which increase the efficiency, and thereby the effectiveness, of aid.
there is mutual accountability. The core of the Paris Declaration is made up of five Partnership Commitments that
To date, the Paris agenda has focused pertain to both donors and partner country signatories. These Commitments are in
exclusively on strengthening the ef- the areas of: Ownership, Alignment, Harmonization, Managing for Results and Mutual
fectiveness of aid through reforming Accountability. The foundation for action in each of these five areas is based on the
the mechanisms of donor/govern- development strategies, capacities and needs of the partner countries. The aim, in this
ment relationships. Civil society or- approach, is to increase the impact of current and future development funding. To do
ganizations (CSOs) have welcomed this, the Paris Declaration lays out a framework that seeks to streamline the processes
these important reform initiatives,
used by donors and partner countries. This framework focuses on reducing duplication
and have been closely monitoring
and increasing the complementarity of funding, programs and monitoring. One example
progress, while seeking further re-
forms in related policy areas. These of such a commitment, drawn from the Partnership Commitment on Alignment, com-
have included the Reality of Aid mits donor and partner country signatories to “work together to establish mutually
global network, which brings togeth- agreed frameworks that provide reliable assessments of performance, transparency
er more than 40 major CSOs, on a and accountability of country systems.” The Paris Declaration also lays out Indicators of
North/South basis, to advocate aid Progress to be used in monitoring the progress and effectiveness of this framework.
reforms that effectively focus upon
The Paris Declaration was signed at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and
and tackle poverty and inequality for
more than 15 years. Concord is a Development’s (OECD) 2005 High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Paris. The
coalition of country CSO platforms Declaration was the culmination of core principles elaborated at a 2003 roundtable in
and coalitions in the EU, which have Marrakech and a subsequent Declaration adopted at the 2004 High-Level Forum on
been closely monitoring progress on Harmonization in Rome. The implementation of the Paris Declaration falls under the
aid commitments. The Association responsibility of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC). The next High
of Women’s Rights in Development Level Forum (HLF3) is scheduled for September 2008 in Accra, Ghana. It is intended
(AWID) is a membership organi- to assess progress made to date in achieving the goals and commitments of the Paris
zation with over 6,000 individual Declaration. HLF3 will also explore ways in which civil society organizations can be lever-
members and 200 institutional mem- aged to advance implementation of the Aid Effectiveness agenda.
bers from all regions that have been
closely monitoring financing trends InterAction participated in a series of consultations with the DAC’s Working Party on Aid
for gender equality and women’s Effectiveness in March 2007 in Paris, and is working with a number of other CSOs under
rights. the leadership of CCIC, EURODAD and Reality of Aid to “deepen the Paris Declaration”.
The Paris Declaration implies that The CSO agenda, as discussed and adopted in Paris in March, includes opening up the
its principles and goals are applicable Paris process for greater transparency and input from CSOs; influencing the outcome of
to all development actors, including HLF3 in Ghana; and broader improvements to the aid system to address accountability,
CSOs. Indeed, international CSOs and structural and conditionality issues.
contributed $11.3 billion in 2004

CSOs argue that the only true measure of FOOD FOR THOUGHT
aid effectiveness, for all development actors,
The following questions might inform the Advisory
is its contribution to the sustained reduction
Group’s consideration of the principles and conditions
of poverty and inequality. In this regard,
that shape civil society organizations’ aid partner-
civil society organizations have decades of ships that effectively contribute to reducing poverty
diverse on-the-ground experience, expanding and inequality:
democratic political space in solidarity with
a Can the principle of “country local ownership,” so central to the
citizen’s voices challenging the adverse
effectiveness objectives of the Paris Declaration, be reframed
conditions and policies that constrain their as “democratic ownership” of development priorities and
development. policies, in which democratic participation of citizens, including
both men and women, and the transparency and accountability
of governments and donors are given priority? How could
to international cooperation initiatives, equal to more than 20% current practices that shape donors and partner government
of bilateral aid in that year. Increasingly, donors, among them aid relationships be redefined to accommodate “democratic
CIDA, the Nordic development agencies, and DFID, have been ownership?”
asking how non-state actors, and particularly civil society organi-
zations, can contribute to “the aid effectiveness agenda.” a What are the guiding principles that should shape international
civil society aid partnerships so that they promote mutual
CSOs are major actors in development in their own right, whose
learning and benefit, respect and accompaniment of citizens’
roles are determined by country social and political contexts in
initiatives in developing countries to further their own
which they work and by international solidarity with efforts of
poor and marginalized populations, women and men, to claim development options?
their rights, and not by the requirements of the international a How do current donor policies and practices influence, positively
aid regime. Consequently, CSO partnerships have an inherent and negatively, the potential quality of CSO international aid
place in democratic governance, including but not limited to is- partnerships and thereby their effectiveness as development
sues of aid governance and effectiveness. CSO partnerships also
contribute significantly to the delivery of aid directly to poor
and marginalized populations. CSO partnerships are therefore a How might donors, partner governments and civil society
critical to the overall aid effectiveness framework and need to be organizations find common ground on the considerations,
explored further. principles and goals that shape civil society’s contributions to
CSOs argue that the only true measure of aid effectiveness, for effective aid in time for the September 2008 High Level Forum?
all development actors, is its contribution to the sustained re-
duction of poverty and inequality. In this regard, civil society
organizations have decades of diverse on-the-ground experience, ing out government national development plans; they are central
expanding democratic political space in solidarity with citizen’s to “democratic ownership” of differing development priorities in
voices challenging the adverse conditions and policies that con- their country. CSOs create opportunities for citizens to engage,
strain their development. They have responded directly to the and sometimes challenge, and hold governments accountable to
capacity and material needs of poor and marginalized peoples, these plans. Indeed, the approach of donors, governments and
sometimes augmenting the reach of government / donor sup- CSOs to development cooperation, in a given context, may also
ported services to beneficiary populations. CSOs create bridges sometimes be in tension. Divergent CSO experiences and voices
between often very local civic actions and national or interna- are both the sources of development innovation and active citi-
tional initiatives for change, in which the rights of poor and mar- zenship in shaping development plans at all levels of society.
ginalized people are given priority and promoted.
Aid effectiveness policies relating to roles for civil society in dem-
The roles assumed by CSOs clearly are not a substitute for the ocratic development for the reduction of poverty and inequal-
obligations of governments to meet their responsibilities to all ity must start from an understanding of the broader principles
their citizens. As such, governments must be supported in their and operational needs that guide CSOs’ effectiveness inherent in
development efforts. CSOs are the expression of an active dem- their diverse roles. What are the considerations that enable CSOs
ocratic citizenship, without which little progress can be made to respond effectively to priorities set by beneficiary populations
in relationships between governance and development. An ac- and to contribute to democratic accountability of government
tive civil society is an essential component of democratic culture, to their citizens? What is the role of aid within these consider-
which requires respect and encouragement of pluralities of views, ations? It cannot simply be assumed that the Paris Declaration’s
human rights, gender equality and policy and development al- principles and goals that inform a donor/government aid ef-
ternatives. fectiveness agenda are the same as those that strengthen CSO
In the context of international aid partnerships, CSOs make ef- effectiveness. The Advisory Group established by the Working
fective contributions to national and local development efforts, Party on Aid Effectiveness, chaired by Canada, will propose ways
in the areas of education, health or productive enterprises, of- to inform the High Level Forum in Ghana in 2008 on ways to
ten in partnerships with communities, donors and local govern- include broader discussion of CSO concerns regarding aid ef-
ments. But CSOs are not mere subsidiary instruments for carry- fectiveness.

APRIL 2007 27
Greater Scrutiny of NGOs Demands
Leaders’ Focus on HQ Effectiveness
By Richard E. Stearns, President, World Vision U.S.

“We’re good people doing good things and that’s good enough.”

have encountered this attitude a few times in my nine years as Suppose there is a small non-profit devoted to addressing prob-
president of the U.S. office of World Vision as a response to lems associated with leprosy in the developing world. Fighting
scrutiny of charities. My response to this misguided philoso- leprosy is an honorable – though narrowly focused – cause. It
phy is, quite simply, “That’s not good enough.” is a cause to which I myself might consider donating, since I
have personally witnessed individuals suffering from leprosy. But
One of the most significant trends facing NGOs and non-profit
it also is a cause for which it probably is difficult to raise funds.
organizations generally is the increasing scrutiny by rating ser-
How many Americans have personally met people afflicted with
vices, most notably, the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving
leprosy and who might be willing to donate? Isn’t it much easier
Alliance and Charity Navigator. In addition, there has been a
to solicit donations for starving children or the environment or
heightened level of analysis by the news media, especially after
causes associated with saving animals?
the September 11 terrorist attacks, as well as the Asia tsunami
in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. While the Red Cross That leprosy organization may have an overhead rate of 25 per-
and FEMA took the brunt of criticism, all charities suffered from cent or more. Should that rate diminish its image among the
the public perception that millions of dollars in private dona- public, or adversely affect its rating by a charity watchdog group?
tions and government funding were squandered after all three Of course not. But, regrettably, it does.
tragedies. Moreover, overhead rates are deceptive. How and where chari-
While some criticism is focused on field effectiveness, there is a ties raise funds are significant factors in determining overhead
growing demand for financial accountability and fundraising ef- rates.
ficiency and transparency. Organizations relying almost exclusively on government grants
typically have low overhead rates because it costs much less to
Overhead: Arbitrary Concept with Moral Implications raise funding through grants than to raise private cash. In con-
trast, there are many well-run humanitarian organizations that
First, let’s look at overhead – a very arbitrary concept with moral rely exclusively on private cash donations. Because of the source
and ethical implications. of their income and high marketing costs, these organizations
Suppose a hurricane devastates several countries in Latin America typically have much higher overhead rates. World Vision has a
and the staff in those countries desperately need a lot of money diversified portfolio of funding – government grants, donated
quickly to respond to the needs of survivors. World Vision’s se- products (“gifts-in-kind”) and private cash. The overall overhead
nior marketing staff and I might have a hastily scheduled con- rate is 13 percent, because the higher costs of raising private cash
ference call with our board. The marketing team would explain are offset by much lower costs of obtaining grants and donated
that, over the next few days, there will be substantial media cov- products.
erage of the disaster, thereby heightening public awareness, and
World Vision likely could raise $2 million in cash donations if we
spend $1 million on advertising. Board members – sensing an ur- The Answer to the Enigma
gent need to make a decision – probably would give unanimous The question watchdog agencies should be asking is: How much
and emphatic approval to the idea. impact does an NGO have per dollar raised? But because this is
such a complex measurement, and different from one non-profit
Wait a minute: Hasn’t the board just authorized an overhead
to another, watchdogs have settled on overhead as a percent of
level of 50 percent?
revenue as the key metric. And while it cannot be said that an
As a result, World Vision is faced with a moral dilemma: If we organization with a 10 percent overhead is more effective than
can raise $2 million to help those hurricane victims, shouldn’t we one with 20 percent, we all have a responsibility to be effective
do it? But by doing so, our organizational overhead rate of 13 stewards of donor resources.
percent would spike upward. How do you reconcile that?
I spent much of my first year at World Vision, U.S. examining
This question leads to another: Who determined that 10-15 per- our operations, systems and functions: mass marketing and ma-
cent overhead is reasonable? Some non-profits perform excellent jor donor development, corporate relations, finance, information
work for worthy causes, but their overhead rates exceed 20 or technology (IT) systems, communications and other functions.
even 30 percent. Why should they receive a poor rating because
I have had the pleasure of meeting leaders of many other NGOs
of an arbitrarily set criterion for their administrative costs?
and, regardless of our backgrounds, conversations usually lead to


More than 600 leaders from the public, private and

NGO sectors will come together April 18-20, 2007 in
Washington, DC to network, build skills, and share ideas
on best practices and work in the field. Register today!


Commission on the Advancement of Women Annual Breakfast Plenary Speakers Exhibitor Hall
Networking Reception Awards Advocacy Day Congressional Reception
Affinity Groups Networking Opportunities Workshops And more...

George Soros, Open Society Institute Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State
Establishing Common Global Standards for NGO Professional Conduct
NGO Security Threats and Responses Civil Society Engagement: From Rhetoric to Reality
Investigating Allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
Assessing NGO Program Effectiveness: What Does it Take and How Do We Get There as a Sector?
Poverty Reduction and Development Assistance: What is Necessary to Achieve the First MDG?
Transitional Conflict and Peace Programming
Measuring the Impact of Relief and Development Communications
Using Evidence to Influence Policy: Why? What? How?
Transforming Transformational Diplomacy

anecdotes about how our organizations can be made more effec- enue by about one-third in seven years. And we expect to lower
tive and efficient. I have yet to encounter an agency perfectly run. it further. The payoff is a dramatic increase in our “yield to the
The solution is not perfection; it is minimizing inefficiencies. field,” funding for World Vision’s work in developing countries.
It is essential to apply rigorous business standards to an NGO Now, let me argue another side of re-engineering NGO adminis-
or any non-profit with the objective of driving down costs, cut- tration. There often are decisions to be taken that, at first glance,
ting wasteful spending and eliminating unnecessary or duplica- seem to contradict efficiency measures. For example, paying
tive systems. competitive salaries may seem to negate the concept of conserv-
ing resources. But in hiring the best people in key roles—people
For example, imagine your organization has four fundraising
programs, with an average fundraising cost of 10 percent. Upon who may be committed to your organization’s cause, but who
also need a certain minimum income—one frequently gets better
first review, that is pretty good. But, after probing a bit more,
performance and a stronger “ratio” of salary to results.
you learn that three of the four have a five percent overhead rate
and the other has a 25 percent overhead rate. It is easy to see that Also, when I joined World Vision, our four or five “legacy” com-
fourth fundraising program needs to be restructured, or phased puter systems created in the 1970’s were outdated, outmoded
out, while the other three should be expanded. and unable to interface with each other. After months of analysis
and debate, we “bit the bullet” and invested significant dollars
As your rigorous review process continues, begin by clarifying
and staff time in a completely new system. The investment has
the mission statement of your organization. What really is its
enabled the organization to more effectively track the giving of
purpose? Keep in mind that running the headquarters of an
our one million-plus U.S. donors and to identify trends to better
NGO is quite different than administering programs in the field.
serve them. It also has fueled growth and improved efficiency.
Refine goals and objectives; then identify ways to meet those
goals and objectives through key performance indicators (KPIs). We in the NGO sector need to focus on both sides of the ef-
Those KPIs will lead you to departmental scorecards and, “drill- ficiency-effectiveness equation, and recognize we live in a world
ing down” further, to individual scorecards that eventually roll of increasing financial scrutiny. It is our sacred responsibility to
up to your own scorecard as the senior executive. demonstrate effective stewardship to our donors and, equally im-
portant, to those we serve.
Now the hard part: Be unrelenting in holding people account-
At World Vision, our experience in rigorously applying business Richard E. Stearns is President of World Vision U.S., which he joined in
1998 after 23 years in the corporate sector.
principles has led to lowering overhead as a percentage of rev-

APRIL 2007 29
We asked our readers to tell us about about important
trends impacting relief and development.

Here’s what they had to say...

From the Chesapeake Bay to Super Chicken: Using Media for Social Change
By Michelle Galley, Senior Writer, Academy for Educational Development
The array of new tools seems endless. The pace is frenetic. The changing landscape of media can be both chal-
lenging and inspiring. Organizations working in development must be nimble and creative enough to take
advantage of new media outlets, and use traditional media in more creative and lasting ways.
Public-service announcements and paid advertisements have been the traditional staples of social change com-
munications. With the growing competition for viewer’s attention, and high production costs, this type of
media is facing stiff competition and must be edgy and creative to be effective.
When AED took on a project for the Chesapeake Bay Program and the state of Virginia to help protect the
bay, the team knew they had to avoid the “preachy” trap into which many environmental campaigns fall.
The final message: “Save the Crabs, Then Eat ‘Em.”
To help spread the message, AED teamed with some atypical supporters. Lawn care companies put bumper
stickers on their trucks and restaurant chefs wore T-shirts bearing the slogan. The result was that local news
outlets picked up the story because of the campaign’s witty message and unique partnerships. That “earned
media” amplified the reach of the paid campaign.

Super Chicken: People Need to Trust the Message

On the other side of the world, in Cambodia and Laos, AED is employing an unlikely spokesperson to fight
Avian Influenza. His name is Super Chicken. Surveys of backyard farmers and their communities showed
both a need and a desire for information on specific steps that could prevent outbreaks of bird flu. That’s
where the broad-breasted, red-caped rooster is stepping in. Through televised PSAs, posters, appearances and
booklets, Super Chicken provides credible information on the best ways to stop the spread of the bird flu
virus. An informal assessment conducted several months after Super Chicken was unveiled showed that the
character had a high level of recognition and that the public trusted his messages.

Great Journalism Means Big Change

In Kosovo, AED is using news programming, as opposed to advertising, to attempt to build awareness and
change attitudes. As a result of war and longstanding ethnic tensions, Kosovo Albanians and Serbs do not
share their opinions with each other very easily. There are separate news outlets and television stations for
Kosovo Albanians and Serbs. AED saw the media—in the form of television journalism—as a good place
to start a conversation between the two groups. In early 2006, teams of one cameraman and one journalist
from three Kosovo Albanian and three Serb television stations met with AED to map out how they wanted
to begin the dialogue.
The process was delicate, and none of the journalists were comfortable reporting on political issues. Instead,
they decided to produce a documentary film series that focused on what average people thought about
Kosovo’s future.
After interviewing and filming on their own, the group met again to produce their films together. The end
product was three 30-minute films from three different parts of Kosovo, each with both an ethnic Albanian
and Serbian perspective. The series, Looking to the Future, was screened first in local communities and then
The camaraderie that built through this exercise in “peace media” was so strong that the teams continue to
work together. Now they are taking on subjects such as unemployment, internally displaced people and secu-
rity, and hoping to create more “safe spaces” for discussion.

Going Wireless
In neighboring Macedonia, once the least-developed country of all the former Yugoslav republics, AED
helped establish a relatively new type of media—wireless, broadband Internet access. By connecting every
one of the country’s 430 primary and secondary schools to a wireless network, AED built the backbone of a
wireless network that eventually expanded to include the whole country. Now Macedonia is the world’s first
“wireless nation” of its size or larger and 95 percent of its population has wireless Internet access. The Avian
Flu, Kosovo peace media and Macedonia projects were all funded by USAID.

Giving a Voice to Women at Risk Integrated Food & Nutrition Security and
By Mike Wessells, Senior Child Protection Advisor, Christian HIV/AIDS Programming
Children’s Fund By Janine Schooley, Project Concern International
A significant long-term challenge in addressing gender- Malnutrition impedes survival in individuals with HIV and
based violence (GBV) is the lack of accurate information is associated with increased risk of HIV-related infections,
about the prevalence of GBV, particularly in emergency set- complications and early death. Failure to address food and
tings. Having a strong commitment to program quality and nutrition security (FNS) risks the failure of both treatment
to the prevention and mitigation of GBV, CCF-Uganda is and prevention efforts, and the indefensible loss of millions
partnering with Columbia University’s Program on Forced of lives.
Migration and Health on the rigorous measurement of the
Fortunately, recent policy milestones indicate a growing
prevalence of gender-based violence in the camps for inter-
awareness of the critical relationship between FNS and
nally displaced people in Lira District of Northern Uganda.
HIV/AIDS. Over 200 front line practitioners from 20
The research, which is funded by a grant from USAID’s
countries shared experiences at the Africa Forum 2006
Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF), combines
through hands-on approaches such as skills building ses-
epidemiological, quantitative methods and qualitative data
sions and site visits.
that give voice to women at risk.
Building this experience, Project Concern International
(PCI) and partners are developing an initiative to promote
integrated programs at the regional level, while fostering
Sustainable Tourism as a Tool for Poverty partnerships to advocate for integrated HIV/AIDS and
Alleviation FNS programming. Over the next five years, PCI and part-
ners will foster the scale-up of effective integrated HIV/
By Lelei LeLaulu, President, Counterpart International AIDS and FNS responses that can turn the tide on HIV/
Tourism is the largest voluntary transfer of wealth from rich AIDS treatment in Africa.
countries to poor countries. In 2005, international tourism
generated more than $2 billion per day, making it one of
the largest categories of international trade. Many nations,
from the islands of the Caribbean and South Pacific to Kyr- Fleet Management: The Billion Dollar
gyzstan and Zimbabwe, have discovered the possibility of Challenge
harnessing tourism to reduce poverty. By Dante A. Disparte, General Manager, Marketing &
Tourism is the only major industry where the consumer Solutions Development, KJAER GROUP A/S
goes to the producer, allowing destination communities Vehicles are mission-critical to humanitarian operations
more control over their resources. Managing tourism pro- globally. Millions of people receive assistance from the
vides a unique opportunity to meet tourist demands while goods, people and services humanitarian fleets carry and yet
working toward the concept of ‘sustainable tourism,’ which how these assets are managed leaves millions more in terms
allows the benefits to be shared between home nations and of costs, people and safety unaddressed. Professionalizing
destinations, rural and urban populations, rich and poor for fleet management in the humanitarian sector can only take
years to come. place in earnest once senior management gives vehicle fleets
the attention, resources and priority they deserve. Looked
Governments, businesses, civil society organizations, local at another way, fleets represent the second largest risk and
communities and development organizations are all stake- operating costs after staff expenses, so the gains of proper
holders in designing, implementing and managing sustain- management are equal in size.
able tourism strategies through cross-sectoral collabora-
tion. Tourism boosts investments in infrastructure and links
businesses around the globe, which creates wealth and im-
proves living conditions for the disadvantaged. Tourism is Water Reform
a highly labor-intensive sector which increases employment
for locals and creates opportunities for small businesses that By David Alpher, Winrock International
provide products and services to the tourism market. In- Disputes over water allocations have grown in Central Asia
creasingly, travelers are demanding more adventurous trips, where agricultural production is falling, investment in ir-
more unique locations and higher standards – but they are rigation is limited, and local water management is weak
also becoming more discriminating about how their money or nonexistent. Winrock International integrated sound
is being used, spending more on ‘green’ tours and buying management practices with local culture and priorities to
hand-made crafts for which profits are reinvested in the lo- help establish water user associations in the USAID-funded
cal economy. When managed responsibly, such demands Central Asia Water Users Association Support Program. Al-
can actually revitalize local culture and strengthen commu- though water use—not conflict resolution—is its focus, wa-
nities. ter-related conflict has declined in project areas. Extensive
training, technical assistance and water reform legislation
Though the thoughts of luxurious cruises, majestic resorts are helping ensure continued progress.
and picturesque landscapes may be glamorous, the true
beauty of tourism lies in the opportunities of alleviating
More information online at at

APRIL 2007 31

You might also like