AidData was invited to contribute a chapter to the OECD's Development Co-operation Report 2023, Debating the Aid System. Drawing on our Listening to Leaders data, AidData researchers contributed a chapter on "Responding to Global South views on development priorities, progress and partner performance."
In the last three years, multiple global crises and the growing urgency of containing climate change have put current models of development co-operation to, perhaps, their most radical test in decades. The goal of a better world for all seems harder to reach, with new budgetary pressures, demands to provide regional and global public goods, elevated humanitarian needs, and increasingly complex political settings. Critique of the roots, rationale and operations of the international aid system is resulting in calls for fundamental change, manifesting, for example, in the movements to address colonial legacies and racism in the sector. This 60th anniversary edition of the Development Co-operation Report takes stock of these challenges, and proposes ways forward along four lines of action: unlock progress to deliver existing commitments; support locally led transformation in partner countries; modernise business models and financial management practices; and rebalance power relations in international decision making and partnerships. The report draws on insights from heads of state, leaders of international organisations, practitioners, academia and civil society, with particular emphasis on voices representing the diverse experiences and perspectives of low- and middle-income countries and their populations.
How can DAC members deploy resources, broker partnerships and contribute expertise in ways that play to their strengths, complement local priorities and help leaders in the Global South deliver development progress for their countries? This chapter offers some answers based on the responses of some 8 000 public, private and civil society leaders across 141 countries to two major AidData surveys conducted in 2020 and 2022. It reviews the leaders’ own assessments of their country’s progress towards its development goals and the obstacles they see to prioritising and implementing reforms. The responses to the surveys summarised in the chapter also suggest how DAC members might better play to their strengths and maximise their influence with and value to Global South leaders.