organizations say an international framework called the Paris Declaration has
increased their profile, helping them be more effective in their work promoting
development. The declaration is an international document promoting the best
possible use of aid. Kumi Naidoo is an official of World Alliance for
Citizenship Participation, an NGO based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He told
Voice of America English to Africa Service reporter Joana Mantey in Accra, Ghana, that
governments should give more freedom to civil society groups in their efforts
to promote development, including the drafting of legislation:
"It looks like
governments are more comfortable with the service delivery that civil society
organizations [undertake]. For example, if you are addressing the problem of
domestic violence and you run shelter and counseling services for women who are
victims of domestic violence, governments are okay with that. But if civil
society organizations say we want you to develop a domestic violence Act,
governments get more hesitant," he says.
says that civil society organizations and governments can work together in
says, "What we want to see is governments recognizing that civil society has
room in terms of delivery of direct services. To have the space to share our
perspectives, our experiences, both from our successes and failures in the
said too few people benefit from aid and that less than 50% of aid committed by
rich countries actually leaves those countries. For example, donor money may
provide scholarships for students to study in a western country or pay for
experts to travel to Africa.
he says the aid that's disbursed in Africa must trickle down to state and local
Naidoo adds that
improved management strategies do help get aid to the poor and that
transparency must be encouraged at governmental levels to ensure that aid
reaches the people it's meant for.
He adds that
civil society wants predictability, and if developing countries are to plan and
execute their own development strategies, they need to know that donor money –
and rules – will remain constant over the duration of a project.