INTL 422/522 Aid to Developing Countries
Aid Consortium Group Project Description
Objectives: This project is designed to simulate how development requests and funding are determined in practice. Our goal is to understand how aid-receiving countries determine assistance needs, and the ways in which bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental aid-giving organizations prioritize their distribution of assistance.
Please sign up to be in one of the following fourteen groups during the first day of class:
Aid-receiving countries: Each group will prepare a written report based on your investigtion of what are the assistance needs of your country at this time. Naturally, there is no monolithic sense of what those needs are, so to determine these you must research a variety of sources: government documents, ethnographic accounts, scholarly assessments, and actual assistance proposals. You should be aware of the relationship which this country has historically had with each of the donor agencies, but this is not included in the report. Ideally, there will be four members in each of these five aid-receiving country groups:
Donor Agencies: Each group will prepare a written profile report based on the way in which aid is distributed by your donor organization. What are your agency's goals and what is its philosophy regarding aid? Where and how have they committed their resources historically, and why? Be sure to include details of how your organization divides up the world and examples of 'best practices' and examples of its activities. You should be aware of what has been your organization's relationship/commitment to each of the five aid-receiving countries in our consortium, but this is not included in the report. Ideally, there will be three members in each of the bilateral and multilateral donor organizations, and two in the INGOs:
International Non Government Organizations (INGOs)
May 22: Each group must submit their report on this date. Two hard copies should be submitted, as well as an electronic copy to Professor Weiss. The electronic copy should be submitted either in MSWord or as a PDF. Alternatively, you can create your own website and then send the website address (copied exactly from your web server) to Professor Weiss for us to link to our course website. Group reports will be accessible via the course website by May 24.
May 29: Based on additional information they have garnered from the donor profiles, each country group will make a presentation based on their aid needs (maximum 15 minutes each). We recommend presenters “stay in character” as much as possible, review their most important priorities for assistance, and only go into detail on any additional or different assistance (based on the new information from the donor profiles) they are requesting. If a country’s development assistance request is changing considerably from its original written report, we suggest representatives consider using some sort of visual aids to facilitate donor agency representatives’ understanding of the new request. (P.S.: visual aids generally make a presentation more accessible, regardless!)
May 31: We will hold our Aid Consortium simulation in rooms 302 and 303 and elsewhere in the Ford Alumni Center. Our Aid Consortium will be an opportunity for donor organizations and countries to meet face-to-face, engage in policy dialogue, make bargains, and reach some understandings. Please note: attendance at this class is an absolute requirement for all students.
June 5, 7 & 8: Donor organizations will report on the percentage of their total aid budget which will go to each of the five participating countries; what percentage will go to various sectors within each country (and why); and what percentage will be "tied" and project-specific (as opposed to open program support). It is important to articulate the reasons for these decisions as these evaluations should be determined on a realistic basis, consistent with the donor organization's philosophy, past activities and current goals. Presentations are to be approximately 18 minutes each; overheads or PowerPoint presentations (using large fonts so they are readable) and/or hand-outs may be helpful when considering time allocations.
June 8: International development aid consortiums generally conclude with a final dinner party. We will hold a variation of this by having a pot-luck dinner (location to be held confidential to ward off protestors and dissidents who may seek to disrupt it). Please prepare to come with food typical of the country you represent or what you believe members of your donor agency would bring. The NGOs will make their final presentations at this concluding ceremony. Please note: attendance at this class is an absolute requirement for all students.