Southern Voices for Change in the International Aid System

November 2004 to December 2005

This debate on aid architecture has mainly been undertaken among (Northern) donors. Voices of Southern constituents in shaping such trends have been muted, especially among Southern-based CSOs. Very little seems to be available or to have been written on the subject, for a number of reasons. These include a lack of appropriate fora to promote dialogue and information sharing among Southern CSOs (the main international discussion fora are heavily biased towards donor views and Northern shareholder representation, and they offer a predominantly governmental perspective), weak capacity, language barriers, inadequate funding, and high transaction costs, among others. ODI launched the Southern Voices for Change in the International Aid System project to encourage Southern CSO engagement in the debate about the desirable future structure, instruments and major processes of international aid. Such engagement seems essential against the backdrop of the future scaling-up of aid and the consequent need for a more responsive and appropriate way to address the needs of the poor.

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