Donor darlings _ Oped _ __ The Kathmandu Post __.pdf

Download Donor darlings _ Oped _ __ The Kathmandu Post __.pdf

Post on 03-Apr-2018




0 download

Embed Size (px)


<ul><li><p>7/28/2019 Donor darlings _ Oped _ __ The Kathmandu Post __.pdf</p><p> 1/2</p><p>Date | Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 Login | Register</p><p>Jump to : Home Nation Editorial Oped Sports MONEY et cetera</p><p>ASIANEWSNETW ORK</p><p>Like 0 1 0</p><p>Gyanu Adhikari</p><p>JAN 28 - The hypot hesis is that aid agencies, and the money they</p><p>distribute, distort incentives. Donor money relatively empowers the</p><p>already-rich and already-powe rful at t he expense of t hose it purports t o</p><p>work for, that is the poor and the pow erless.</p><p>Indirect evidence fo r this hypothesis comes from the profile of t he people</p><p>who work directly for aid agencies, or work indirectly for them through</p><p>their own NGOs and foundations they have created to attract donormoney. Overwhelmingly, the aid agencies and NGOs are primarily run by</p><p>urban, propertied elites in the name of the rural poor and marginalised.</p><p>For the sake of contrast, it is easier to divide the two into distinct profiles.</p><p>Lets call the urban, propertied person V ikas, a child of the development</p><p>enthusiasts absorbed by t he development industry. V ikas lives in</p><p>Kathmandu, went t o a private school whose mont hly fee is greater than</p><p>the annual per capita income of an average Nepali. He speaks English and</p><p>listens to Western music. Perhaps he went abroad for higher education,</p><p>so he is aware of the cultural norms in the West. Politically, he has imbued</p><p>the values of liberalism and developmentalism. Economically, he believes in</p><p>neo-liberalism. Nothing works as effectively as the free market to properly</p><p>allocate resources.</p><p>The second exhibit, lets call her Anju, lives in a village. Her family, low-</p><p>caste farmers, couldnt afford private school education. She went t o a</p><p>public school in Sunsari, so shes no t very good w ith English. Her accent is</p><p>cringe-inducing, both to Vikas and the donor representatives. After</p><p>finishing high school, she came t o Kathmandu for higher education andhas a Masters degree in sociology.</p><p>One day, V ikas and Anju see an advertisement in the Mountain Times. A</p><p>donor-funded NGO is looking for an entry-level job. Minimum qualifications</p><p>necessary: Masters degree. Both meet it, start dreaming of dollars, and</p><p>apply for t he job.</p><p>Its easy to speculate who w ill get t he job. Over t ime, Vikas resigns from</p><p>the NGO and starts working for the donor agency itself. He gets married</p><p>to a girl who is also richly-educated like him. Together they earn dollars,</p><p>saving a fixed percent o f it, until there is enough to buy property. They</p><p>send their children t o expensive private schools where t hey study t ogether w ith the children of ot her rich, propertied parents.</p><p>When they grow up, the cycle repeats.</p><p>What does Anju do? Spurned by t he development industry, she aspires for a government job. She studies day and night for two</p><p>years for the Public Service Commission examination. Th is opt ion is something Vikas would never consider, although he says he is</p><p>committed to public service. But a government job, paid in lowly Nepali rupees, simply doesnt pay as well as an I/NGO job. It just</p><p>doesnt have t he right incentives.</p><p>Curiously enough, Vikas job at t he donor agency is focussed on a field called good governance. He has w ritte n a copious amount</p><p>on how terrible Nepals government really is when it comes to managing money. There are no grounds to trust it. In order tomaintain donor confidence in the use of national system to disburse, the government of Nepal needs to provide greater confidence</p><p>that they are tackling major obstacles, he w rites for a report, T he [country x], along with o ther development partners in Nepal,</p><p>would welcome further progress on public financial management and anti-corruption reforms.</p><p>Anju reads this on t he UK aid agency Dfids report the Nepal Port folio Performance Review 2013. It seems t o he r that Dfid is</p><p>extremely concerned about t he state o f governance in Nepal. She knows that Dfid, as one of the countrys largest donors,</p><p>commits a lot of money for Nepals developmentroughly amounting to about 100 million pounds sterling a year. As she looks into</p><p>the composition of Dfids portfolio, it surprises her t hat despite all the talk of good governance, for 2011/12, Dfid has provided a</p><p>grand total of zero pounds out of t he 68 million pounds committed unde r the heading Governance and Security. The largest</p><p>chunk, 33 million pounds had been committed t o a Dfid appointed service providerGRM International. The rest had been</p><p>committed t o the World Bank, UNICEF, the UN and consultants.</p><p>Wanting to learn more about how Dfid spends its money, she goes home and googles the aid agency. A headline from the</p><p>Telegraph screams Revealed: taxpayer-funded aid consultants on six figures a year. The journalist says that the Department for</p><p>International Development is directly handing individual aid consultants up t o 223,000 a year each. She also sees that the</p><p>agencys head in Nepal has spent 32,000 pounds renovating a Nepali palace that once belonged to a Rana Maharaja and has now</p><p>been t urned into a residence for t he agencys chief development worker.</p><p>That doesnt seem very accountable, Anju thinks, and pondersdoes Dfid even have t he moral authority to lecture Nepals</p><p>government on corruption and accountability? Could it be that corruption and nepotism are more of a problem for donor agenciesand their pet NGOs than the government? Afte r all, even if weak, there is a mechanism, the CIAA, to look into t he governments</p><p>corruption. But who investigates co rruption related to NGOs and their donors?</p><p>Things start to become a little clearer in Anjus head. She begins to figure out why it is that the Vikases and those w orking for</p><p>donor agencies can afford the best houses for rent in Kathmandu, send their children to the best private schools and why it is that</p><p>a few restaurants she goes t o, frequented by t he darlings of the aid industry, serve Nepali clients only after t he white clients. It</p><p>seems to her that there are two Nepals. One belongs to those Nepalis who eke out a living in a country with a poor government</p><p>doing litt le to help. Anot her belongs t o t he donor darlingsdollar-earning, English-speaking, and keen to paint a distorted picture of</p><p>Oped</p><p>Donor darlings</p><p>Today's Paper</p><p>The Kathmandu Post in Print</p><p>FROM THE PAST 7 DAYS</p><p>Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa</p><p>25 26</p><p>27 28 29 30 31</p><p>ENTER KEYWORD OR DATE</p><p> Go</p><p>e.g. 2001-04-01 (yyyy-mm-dd)</p><p>Abin</p><p>Dont know which party they belong</p><p>to.... They are requesting slogans for</p><p>PMs resignation.</p><p>ADVERTISEMENTS</p><p>Holiday accommodation</p><p></p><p>Holiday houses from private in Tenerife, eg. Puerto de la Cruz</p><p>January 2013</p></li><li><p>7/28/2019 Donor darlings _ Oped _ __ The Kathmandu Post __.pdf</p><p> 2/2</p><p>society and t he governmentall in the name of helping the poor and t he marginalised.</p><p>The train of t hought in Anjus head takes another turn. In t he evening, she asks herself: does Nepal even need Dfid? Or is it Dfid</p><p>that needs Nepal?</p><p>Posted on: 2013-01-29 09:20</p><p>Post Your Comment</p><p>Please note that all the fields marked * are mandatory.</p><p>* Full Name</p><p>* Address</p><p>* Email Address</p><p>* Comment</p><p>Note: Comments containing abusive words or slander shall not bepublished.</p><p>Comments</p><p>NATIONAL WORLD SPORTS BUSINESS PHOTO GALLERY MODEL WATCH</p><p>OUR PUBLICATION :</p><p>Copyright 2001 - 2012 eKantipurArch ive |About Us | Contact Us | Feedback</p></li></ul>