Swedish state agencies are a growing channel for Swedish development cooperation funds, Sida statistics obtained by Development Today show. Almost all government institutions experienced an increase in their Sida-financed assignments last year.
The Norwegian aid administration has had an arbitrary approach to acquiring extended insurance for officials travelling to conflict zones. In spite of many visits to places like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Sudan since he took office last fall, Development Minister Erik Solheim just received his first extended insurance in June for his most recent trip to Sudan.
Back in the 1960s, they were grassroots, mass-based organisations with the legitimacy to speak for a broad constituency. Today, the largest Norwegian NGOs have become professionalised, centralised outfits with honed lobbying skills and close ties to politicians. Norwegian NGOs no longer possess the characteristics that gave them the legitimacy to work on building civil society in poor countries in the first place.
Following police investigations and negotiations with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the African research organisation Afrepren in Nairobi has agreed to refund SEK 16.2 million to Sida. (See DT 17/05)
By appointing aid veteran Finn Jønck as the new Managing Director of the Danish aid-financed investment funds, IFU and IØ, the Danish government has sent a clear signal that IFU is in the business of development. Promoting Danish companies’ activities abroad is a means of creating development and reducing poverty, not the overriding goal.
Norway’s Development Minister Erik Solheim and Environment Minister Helen Bjørnøy have launched an action plan for environmentally-friendly development cooperation. “The global environment is being destroyed ...