International development according to the Conservatives

I came across this article over at The Guardian’s Katine Chronicles and it sums up what a Conservative government would do about International Development.

Of all the proposals /promises this is the one that caught my eye

setting up an independent aid watchdog to scrutinise the impact and outcomes of British aid – “sunlight is the best disinfectant”, says the paper, when it comes to cleaning up aid

The reason for this is that I strongly believe that without effective monitoring of where AID money goes whole chunks of the population in the developing world will continue to miss out. This has been pointed out several times in all sorts of publications and hopefully this is the start of things to come.

I recently became aware that whilst the British Government favours handing over money to the developing world leaders to allocate as they see fit the American approach differs in that it is project based, meaning that grants are paid to a specific project.

I am can’t quite make up my mind which of the systems is better for a number of reasons, the British way removes the paternalistic approach but then again is open to abuse as there isn’t any guarantee that it will be spent on the things that locals consider to be a priority.

On the other hand the US system, ensures that there is something to show for the money but I do wonder how the projects are decided on and how much of a say the locals have?

I would welcome your views on this!

Going back to the Conservatives, they have been involved in Project Umubano down in Rwanda in fact David Cameron paid the folk on the ground a visit back in 2007 . A little while ago I met a Conservative Councillor that is heavily involved in this project and travels to Rwanda frequently. I do hope hope that this experience has been used to inform their policy. As the only way to to learn about what works in the field of International Development is by working alongside the people at receiving end of the policy and AID.

Would a Conservative government draw on their experience in Rwanda when formulating their International policy?

The jury is still out on this!

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