Reviewing Ireland’s development policy – the major issues

07/10/2011 at 2:43 pm 1 comment

The review of the Government White Paper on Irish Aid is getting into full swing. Irish Aid has recently added some information on the review to its website and they also plan to publish a Review discussion document by December.

Dóchas has also been preparing for the process through our dedicated taskforce and the various thematic working groups in the development sector. At a recent members workshop we also identified 6 major themes which if addresses, will not only enhance Ireland’s international reputation as a principled actor on the global stage but will greatly increase the effectiveness of Ireland’s development programmes.

Have a read and let us know what you think!

1. The focus of Ireland’s development efforts – moving towards the Rights Based Approach

The White Paper on Irish Aid states that:

-       the eradication of poverty is the primary objective of Ireland’s development cooperation

-       development efforts will be based on and informed by the Millennium Development Goals;

-       Ireland’s development cooperation will be guided by key principles (partnership, public ownership and transparency, effectiveness and quality assurance, coherence, long term sustainability)

-       the promotion of human rights, directly and indirectly, will be central to Ireland’s foreign policy and all the work of Irish Aid.

These features reflect Ireland’s commitment to improving the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable people in developing countries but they also reflect the absence of an explicit coherent approach to development. Dóchas members believe that the White Paper Review is an opportunity for the government to consider the merits of advancing a rights-based approach to foreign policy, international cooperation and policy coherence for development, with indicators of success against which Departments can be held accountable.

2. Results, Accountability and Ownership

When seeking to promote and protect the rights of some of the most marginalised people in the world and when spending tax-payers money to do so, achieving results and being accountable to the various stakeholders involved is of utmost importance.

Ireland’s development programme is one of the most scrutinised areas of public expenditure at home and abroad and a recent OECD DAC review commended Ireland for its excellent track record in applying the Paris Declaration principles. For their part development NGOs have also been working on a framework, known as the Siam Reap Consensus for CSO Development Effectiveness, against which the effectiveness of their efforts can be measured.

Despite progress under the Paris Declaration, the current global context threatens to undermine such progress while an OECD DAC report pointed to a number of challenges impacting on the effectiveness of Ireland’s development cooperation programmes. Though Irish Aid has cultivated a reputation for its commitment to tackling the root causes of poverty; it is important that the value for money agenda does not lead to changes which will prioritise easy wins and short term results over more challenging long-term development outcomes.

3.    Public Engagement

People in Ireland are immensely proud of the efforts of the Irish State and Irish NGOs in assisting those in greatest need throughout the world. This is reflected in the continued support which Ireland’s development programme receives, in the reaction of the Irish people to humanitarian crisis such as in the Horn of Africa and in the fact that development cooperation is one of the few areas which enjoys cross party support in the Oireachtas.

The White Paper on Irish Aid, however, recognises that in order to maintain this level of support, a concerted effort is needed to take public interaction on development issues to a different level. It proposes to do this through continued support for Irish Civil Society organisations and international volunteering, a greater emphasis on development education, institutionalising debate on development cooperation into parliamentary practises and increasing Irish Aid initiatives in relation to public information and public engagement.

There has been much progress in this area in light of the White Paper’s commitment but there remain major challenges.

4.    Policy Coherence for development

For Dóchas, the fight against poverty is not merely a matter of providing aid. We are proud of Ireland’s record of generosity and professional development assistance, but we also know that aid alone cannot, and will not, bring an end to poverty.

Similarly, the White Paper on Irish Aid correctly identifies coherence of state actions and policies with our development objectives as one of the key areas where the effectiveness of Ireland’s development efforts can be greatly enhanced. Dóchas accepts that incoherence is inevitable in a democracy, and that development priorities will not win out in all cases. For all of us, the challenge is to:

-          minimise incoherence and its negative effects on the poor, and on developmental processes;

-          mitigate the worst effects where incoherence is unavoidable and;

-          look for synergies and value-added where they are to be found.

Though there have been advances in this area, the OECD DAC Review of 2009 remarks ‘though Ireland’s political commitment to PCD is not questioned, this commitment has not yet translated into an integrated policy framework drawing consensus from the highest levels of government as well as parliament.’

5.    Development Cooperation, Trade and the Private Sector

This following statement encapsulates all that is good about the Irish Aid programme and explains much about why Ireland has such a strong and positive reputation on the international stage:

‘For some, political and strategic motives may influence decisions on the allocation of   development assistance. This is not the case for Ireland. For Ireland, the provision of assistance and our cooperation with developing countries is a reflection of our responsibility to others and of our vision of a fair global society’.

White Paper 2005

The context, in which the 2006 White Paper was written, however, has changed dramatically. And with the publication of the Africa Strategy, the Irish Government has sought to strike a balance between Ireland’s legitimate strategic interests in engaging with African countries and the goals of our development policy.

As development NGOs, Dóchas members are naturally concerned that, however unintended, this significant shift will have a very negative impact on the ability of Ireland’s development programme. We believe it is important that the Review of the White Paper deals directly with the challenges which this shift bring for Ireland’s development programme in particular in relation to Human Rights and labour standards, environmental protection, good governance and the allocation of development assistance.

6.    Volunteering

We in Ireland have a rich and long standing history of volunteering in communities at home and overseas.  Volunteering plays an important role in international development as it empowers individuals, organisations, and communities to tackle poverty, take control over their own lives and it fosters solidarity between people of different backgrounds, cultures and traditions.

The current White Paper acknowledges this and provides scope for the Irish public to learn about volunteering opportunities overseas. Dóchas welcomes the formation of the Volunteering Working Group to review the current supports for volunteering overseas and make recommendations how Irish Aid can be of further support. Development NGOs are keen to ensure that best practice is promoted and the potential pitfalls associated with international volunteering are avoided. In particular, volunteer sending organisations draw attention to the internationally recognised Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Organisations.

Seems like we’ve a lot of work ahead of us………..

 

Entry filed under: Government, NGOs. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Ireland and Human Rights Making Aid More Effective: Base it on People Power!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. lacy  |  22/10/2011 at 11:54 pm

    Why all those words when you could have said that in about three paagraghs? i mean you lost me when i read the title.. boring…

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 199 other followers

Archives

Dóchas on Twitter

The World's Best News - images

A child born today has hugely better chances of reaching its 5th birthday than at any other time in human history!

Death rates of young children have dropped to record lows in
developing countries. 
Experts say there are two main reasons for the decrease:
They are improved government action, and simple protective health measures. Experts say the two have helped narrow the death rates between the richest and the poorest families.

Read more:
http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/article/2516452.html?utm_conten
t=buffere19b8&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Photo: Oct. 4, 2006, #Pakistani hospital staff members attend newly born
babies in Karachi, Pakistan. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil, File Read more at http://www.unicef.org/crc/index_73549.html Polio eradication programme reaches 'major milestone'. Experts from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) think a second of the three forms of poliovirus has been eliminated after mass vaccination campaigns.

Read more at: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30056311

#polio #health #vaccines “Good day Boys and Girls. How are you? Today’s lesson is on addition….” As schools are closed in Sierra Leone due to the outbreak of #Ebola, a Radio and TV Teaching Programme started in October, to help children access #education.

Read more at http://www.worldvision.ie/news/detail/despite-the-ebola.i-am-still-learning
Photo: Rugiatu Kamara, 12, who takes part in the distance learning programme in #SierraLeone. A shampoo that does not cost the Earth!

In January this year, L’Oréal announced its plan to become “free from deforestation” in the production of all its products by 2020 at the latest.

This is no easy task. L’Oréal bought 450 tonnes of crude palm oil last year and 60,000 tonnes of palm and palm derivatives that provide the detergent and foaming qualities of shampoos.

Pat Venditti, a senior forest campaigner at Greenpeace, says: “L’Oréal are doing what we’re expecting from other companies, which is drilling down into their supply chain, getting rid of any supply streams that might be involved in deforestation. They have made those commitments and to our observation they are being pursued and delivered.”
He says the drive to address this issue has come from public pressure. "Companies are recognising that the cost of being involved in rainforest destruction is higher than the cost of dealing with the problem.” "Ebola takes no holidays. Every day people are affected, so every day we work. And I am proud of the work we do.” - Fatimata Binta Jalloh, supervisor and dispatch, 117 call centre, #SierraLeone. 
The centre takes calls from across the country, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Some 1,000 calls a day from people reporting suspected cases or deaths, but also looking for information on #Ebola.

Photo: WHO/C. Black #Philippines: Meet two women who have key role in revitalising nation on the anniversary of storm disaster.

Read more: http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/world-news/philippines-meet-two-women-who-4595195

Photo: Plumber, Evalyn Macasaet (34) and carpenter, Joan Cortez (32) pictured working on a house in #Tacloban City.

#Haiyan #disaster #upliftingnews #worldsbestnews "If we want to see change it should start from ourselves." said 14 year old Sumit from #Nepal.

Last year, Sumit was engaged to a 12-year old girl in his village, when he heard about the negative effects of #childmarriage at an ActionAid Children's club. As a result he called off the engagement, convinced his
parents to keep him in school and with a group of friends went door to door to tell everyone in the village what he had learned. There has been no child marriage in the village for the last year.

Child marriage is a huge problem in Nepal; with new data showing 7% of girls are married by age 10. As well as young brides and grooms missing out on an education, childbirth complications are the leading cause of death for girls ages 15 to 19 in developing countries. Sumit and thousandslike him are helping to put an end to this practice for good, thanks to Irish support. - See more at: http://www.actionaid.ie/2014/09/ending-child-marriage-together-nepal#sthas Across the developing world, fertility rates are falling rapidly. A fact largely unreported by the world’s mainstream media.

The Total Fertility Rate (TFR – the average number of live births per woman over her lifetime) in OECD countries stands at around 1.74 (where 2.3 is the level needed to keep a population levels stable). The big news is that countries like China and India, where the TFR was 6.1 and 5.9 respectively in 1950, now have birth rates of 1.8 in China, and 2.6 in India.

Researchers suggest that education and the spread of television mean women can opt to have fewer children.
Read more:http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/programs/conservation-and-development/population-bomb-so-wrong/

#population #populationgrowth #positive #women #birthrate #globaldev #india #tv #children #empowerment #equality #gender #knowledge #everydayafrica #missionarystories #worldsbestnews See more data at
http://www.ourworldindata.org/roser/presentation/online/AfricaInData/AfricaInData.html#/5 Nothing ever changes?

Have a look at these dramatic infographics: 
http://www.ourworldindata.org/roser/presentation/online/AfricaInData/AfricaInData.html#/5
Africa
infographic
worldsbestnews

Visitors Map

Map

Dóchas Photos

undermining 0.7

tanaiste

More Photos

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 199 other followers

%d bloggers like this: