| GATE - 4/84 - Site - oriented agriculture |
New Approaches to Development Policies
Report send Evaluation of New Approaches to Development Policies
This is the title a research study. The approaches investigated here range from Myrdal's suggestion that development co-operation be abolished as far as possible, via the new US aid policies, environmental, socio-cultural and basic needs-oriented development co-operation, to the Report of the Brandt Commission and south-south co-operation. The evaluation leads to the conclusion that radical changes in the practice of development co-operation are unlikely, as the present policies are the result of a compromise between numerous interest groups in the industrial and developing countries, some of which, at least, would lose out if new approaches were adopted. Putting these ideas into practice in the field of development co-operation would, according to the study, have the results described below.
Reality and powerful interests always produce different (sometimes hardly new) ways of giving priority to aspects of development policy (environment, basic needs, co-ordination policies etc.). But these shifts are often mere corrections to previously one-sided accentuations and priorities (GNP growth, for example). To a certain degree the system of activating and co-ordinating development co-operation produces the errors, negative side-effects and biases which lead to the establishment of new institutions and activities aimed at compensating for them. One aim of social-structure aid is, therefore, to reduce or remove any negative social consequences of technical or financial co-operation projects by means of complementary measures.
Opportunities of realization
These corrective manoeuvres, however, only change the course of the overall vehicle slightly, particularly as it has already been given tremendous impetus by the differentitation of the goal structure and its institutionalisation. This stability is further consolidated by the transfer of national discussion to the international debating forum which, on the one hand, provides new impulses while, on the other hand, preventing national priority changes from taking rapid effect. It may thus happen that policies which are already being phased out on the national plane are still being pursued at an international level because the individual country is unable or unwilling to abandon its obligations and thus cause diplomatic conflicts.
If the activities are given a "new" accent by, for example, being handed over to private counterparts or recipients, all other institutions and programmes with a different bias continue to function as before, particularly in the multilateral sector. New institutions are sometimes established or existing ones extended - institutions which have, in fact, long been in existence, as the "new accent" has long been institutionalised as a "target". If the accent is shifted further at some future date, the institutional inertia still ensure that the general direction is maintained.
The overall course of the yawing, but basically stable vehicle continues to respond to a number of basic motives which were already present at the foundation of development policy in general: foreign-trade and foreign-policy interests. Within this framework there is much scope for pursuing sub-targets which may even - in the short term at least - run contrary to these basic interests. The "development target" itself is one such sub-target which, for various reasons (common denominator- for developing and industrialized countries, the need to justify a project etc.), has been transformed into a pseudo main target. The "pseudo" nature of such main targets
becomes apparent when development-oriented measures are justified by referring to their political or economic effects (e.g. employment here) or if the effects of purely political or economic projects on development are cited as justification for the former - as a kind of "spin off". In general the institutional system is flexible enough to accommodate urgent short-term interests such as the financing of aid to Turkey via a reduction in the funds made available to other development projects. Similar juggling can be observed in the social and cultural part-targets derived from the above mentioned differentiation procedure from the development goal.
New theoretical approaches usually closely with criticisms of existing practices - tend to pick on one (rarely more than one) aspect, to give this aspect the "monocausal" blame for under-development and to demand remedial measures accordingly. This kind of concentrated bias is essential to critics wishing to give their arguments clarity and striking power. A sensation-hungry press may then spectacularly exaggerate this bias (as in the case of the Birla Study, for example). But even without press sensationalism, a wave of publications and conferences may send mild tremors through the organisations administering policies. Scientific advisory committee seize on the topic, hearings are arranged, questions are asked in parliaments which put pressure on governments to act or to justify their actions. Depending on how broad and deep such a movement is and how well it can be combined with established interests (or how little it limits others), it penetrates, sooner or later, to the third phase of institutionalisation. In times of considerable growth, when funds are readily available, conflicts are of a minor nature and the chances of obtaining additional money, launching programmes and integrating institutions are good. In lean years a new approach is particularly effective if it promises savings, increased effectivity and concentration of funds. It can then be used by those interested in saving money as a weapon to combat the "self-supporting growth" of development policies and their institutions and organisations.
Increasing the effectivity of development-policy measures is not only a tendency that is on the increase for reasons of economic and political exigency. For those involved in development policy it is a problem the solution of which has high priority. Thus approaches and suggestions aimed at solving this problem fall on fertile political soil. The stage of radical change which we have now reached calls for a new development-policy conception capable of simultaneously mastering the new requirements and the pressures to maintain continuity.
The relative immobility of the overall institutionalized development policy complex described above would tend to concentrate on the search for individual increases in efficiency, improvements and reductions of burdens. In addition, increasing efforts would be made to reinterpret the existing structures of development co-operation, harmonizing them with the altered requirements of the situation and justifying them anew.
In spite of all the pragmaticism justifiable in view of the institutional inertia and interest-based foundations of existing development-policy practices, one should not, however, lose sight of the more continuous and fundamental processes of change in the world economy which require, in the long run, more than simply superficial adaptations and increases of efficiency in collabora tion with developing countries.
Dauderst„dt, M. and Pfaller A "Bestandsauinahme und Be wertung neuer entwicklungspoli tischer AnsÃ¤tze" ("Report and Eva luation of New Approaches to Deve' opment Policies"), 1984, 154 pp paperback, DM 25, ISBN 3-803 0299 1. This research report is pub fished as Volume 53 of the serie "Research Reports of the federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and is only available in German.
Additional Grain for Africa
The Federal Republic of German ntends to increase its contribution towards the International mergency Food Rezerve of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and of he World Food Programme in the current Year.The Federal Government is making approximately 9,5 cm DM available for the purchase of some 14,000 tonnes of grain.Of his,Nigerand the Sudan will probably receive 4,00 tonnes each ,Chad and Ethiopia 3,000 tonnes each.This new additional contribution of 14,000 tonnes means that the Federal govermment has placed total of 51,000 tonnes of grain at the dispozal of the International Emergency food
Reserve in 1984 for imediate relief measures in Africa's food sector .Direct German food aid for Africa in the form of grain that reaches a total of over 177,000 tonnes coresponding to approximatevely 72.5 percent of German food aid within the framework of the International Food Aid Agreement.
More Environmentally-oriented Projects
Protection of the natural environment is a mainstay of German development co-operation, said Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation, J rgen Wamke, in Bonn recently in answer to a question put to the Federal Cabinet by the govemment coalition parties CDU/CSU and FDP.
Warnke pointed out that the high population increase and its consequences, particularly land shortage and the growth of slums in large towns, were endangering the natural foundations of existence of the populations in the countries concerned. Chopping down huge expanses of forest without replanting trees, together with the encroachment of deserts and steppes, were making their effects felt all over the world, he continued. In order to help stem the tide, the number of forestry projects receiving support from Germany had been increased considerably.
The main contributions made by the Federal German Government towards protecting the environment and conservation of natural resources were, the Minister continued, projects concerned with re-afforestation, anti-erosion measures, site-oriented agriculture, the exploitation of renewable energy resources and biological pest control projects. German development aid was also increasingly concerned with furthering the establishment of Environmental Protection Authorities and Environmental Laboratories.
On the international plane the Federal Government was also trying to influence other donor countries and the developing nations themselves to apply corresponding criteria to their development programmes in order to increase the protection afforded to the natural environment. The Minister mentioned, as examples of practical international co-operation, pliot projects concerned with the development of appropriate agricultural and forestry cultivation systems for Central America and East Africa which were being carried out jointly by the Federal Republic of Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Canada in Costa Rica. These support measures showed, according to Warnke, the opportunities for environmentally conscious development within the framework of self-help aid. They thus contributed towards enabling developing countries to take on their share responsibility in preserving and protecting the common foundations guaranteeing the continued existence of the entire human race.