CONCORD Europe held its annual Aidwatch working group seminar in Brussels on 1-3 of February 2012. Aidwatch is one of the flagship activities of CONCORD, the European NGO confederation. The main work of the working group each year is the production of the Aidwatch Report that takes a critical look at the performance of European governments and the European Commission on targets for aid quantity and quality. This year there will be two of them.
The first AidWatch report will be published in the first half of the year covering topics like the quantity of aid, inflated aid methodology and the comparison of aid among the member states. The preparation of the document was discussed during the seminar, which will be the seventh such document this year. The main discussions were around the inflated aid methodology. Some of the elements of aid spending should be subtracted from the total aid expenditure (inflated aid), as those have little or no effect on development. Such issues are debt relief, refugee and students costs that have been for long on the list of inflated aid. Provisions of loans, tied aid by donors as well as climate finance are new to aid methodology. They can be part of the aid methodology as they contribute little to development by delivering little additional benefit for developing countries.
The second AidWatch report will be published around November 2012 and the topic will be the quality of aid and the process of keeping up with the Busan commitments.
The organizers of the seminar themed up the following topics: new CSO architecture after Busan, post Busan monitoring, transparency, budget support and EU Agenda for Change (the new vision of the European development policy).
The Aidwatch strategy 2012-2015 was also an important theme to reinforce the policy, advocacy work and to reformulate capacity building and global partnership needs of the working group.
A new structure of the AidWatch working group was set up that consists of a small steering group without co-chairs. The second most important body of the group is the advocacy group, where four new EU-12 representatives were invited, Evelin Andrespok (Estonia), Robert Hodosi (Hungary), Ventzislav Kirkov (Bulgaria) and Petra Krylova (Czech Republic). Several task forces will also be established on the basis of needs, such as media task force, inflated aid methodology task force etc. With the new members in advocacy group the EU12 should have better heard voices within the Aidwatch working group.
If you are interested to learn more about what and how European governments are spending their aid for the developing world, you can obtain analysis and statistics at the AidWatch website
Information provided by Robert Hodosi,
Member of Aidwatch Working Group and
HAND -Hungarian NGDO Platform