Governance and Nationbuilding

Governance and Nationbuilding

The Failure of International Intervention

Kate Jenkins and William Plowden

Governance and Nationbuilding describes how aid donors have attempted to improve the performance of government in developing countries and countries in crisis. Kate Jenkins and William Plowden review the widespread lack of success, tracing the history of international government intervention, the roles of donors and recipient countries, the ways in which expert advice and support have been provided, and the donors’ own evaluation of their work.

Chapter 4: The Recipients: The Host Nations

Kate Jenkins and William Plowden

Subjects: development studies, development studies, politics and public policy, international politics, international relations, public policy, regulation and governance


The donor organizations provide most of the resources in the relationships that determine the distribution of aid to improve government. People in Washington, Paris, London, Geneva, Brussels, Tokyo and Berlin decide what money should go where, who should compete for it and who should win the contracts to spend it. Even though the money may be borrowed from the bank, as in the case of the World Bank, the client gets little say in what happens. Although the donors are fond of expressions like ‘partner’or ‘local champion’ it is commonly clear to all involved that it is the donor managing the project. In the case of the Bank, a project will often be labelled ‘a World Bank project’ – even though the Kenyan or Ecuadorean taxpayer will eventually foot the bill. Billions of dollars are directed annually at the perceived problems of the recipient countries, some – though not all – the poorest on the planet. As mentioned above they share, above all else, the belief on the part of the donors that there is a problem which can best be addressed by the loan or donation of aid. VARIATIONS AMONG RECIPIENTS The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of OECD provides lists each year of the countries which receive support. It shows where the aid comes from by donor and the totals each recipient country received. The top ten recipients of aid of all kinds, including government, from the countries reported by the DAC in 2002–2003 were, in order, Congo, China, India, Pakistan,...

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