DT 21-22 / 2010

Farewell to the Nordic aid model

 
In the early 1990s when the first issue of Development Today was published, the Nordic model was proudly hailed as a clear alternative on the global aid arena. In the course of the last 20 years, this Nordic brand has been diluted.
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From export subsidies to investments, vested interests remain

 
Over the last 20 years Nordic donors’ focus on private sector aid has shifted from subsidising their exports to investing in developing countries. Though “untying” aid has been a key theme in Nordic aid politics, vested interests remains strong in some donors’ private sector engangement.
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Competing to be the Nr 1 donor

 
The story of Nordic development assistance over the last two decades is one of both cooperation and competition. Though most donors would shun the suggestion that aid is a “beauty contest”, competition to be the most generous donor remains an important backdrop to Nordic aid politics.
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It’s no longer ok to bribe

 
When Development Today started reporting on Nordic aid in 1991, firms could demand tax deduction for the bribes they paid in develop-ing countries, and aid agencies had weak systems for uncovering fraud, if they had any at all.
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