Global Policy and Global Aid Architecture

Dramatic developments in the Soviet Union and the Communist block countries and the precipitous end of the cold war provide a historic opportunity to address the twin problems of economic development and population growth. Arms production, size of the military forces, and employment of public resources are already on the decline in industrial and Eastern block countries. In constant 1991-92 dollars, U.S. defense spending declined from $360 billion in 1985 to $320 billion in 1990 and is expected to drop further to $240 billion.

 

In this paper I argue that structural adjustment has diverted attention from the central issues in the development of smallholder agriculture.  Yet increasing factor productivity in agriculture is crucial for resuming rapid economic growth, alleviating poverty, increasing women's participation, and saving the environment.

 

The end of the Cold War and the ushering in of a young new administration of the post-World War II generation in the United States offer an important opportunity to explore the lessons of the past experience in economic development and international development cooperation to identify their implications for the future.

 

The workshop provided a forum for the exchange of experiences in the design and implementation of competitive grant programs for research and extension (CGPs). This report provides a brief outline of concerns and lessons learned from common experiences in competitive programs from country, regional, and donor perspectives. It provides country case studies, and the various papers presented by participants on a range of issues that influence, both policy formulation, and the performance of competitive programs. These include the evolutionary status of the research and development (R & D) system, size and economic status of the country, source of funds, commitment of the government, and differences in objectives. Considerations when introducing a competitive program suggest that competitive programs are a funding mechanism with both advantages and disadvantages: they are not appropriate in all situations, and should be linked with other funding sources for research, extension and training to promote a complementary system of R & D funding. On program policy and administration, suggestions include the need for strong and independent governance; qualitative and quantitative measures; rigorous, independent, and transparent review process; monitoring and evaluation guidelines with clear objectives and indicators for the program. Recommendations for establishing procedures for a positive impact on institutional reform, include inter alia, the promotion of co-operation through the competitive process on a partnership basis, and, the development of mechanisms to internalize experiences from competitive funding to upgrade quality of block (or core) funding (e.g., peer review). A recurring theme was the issue of balancing of public and private objectives. This means protecting proprietary knowledge and technologies to attract the participation of the private sector, while ensuring that public funds are used for social objectives. Likewise, equity concerns must be weighed against the needs of a competitive market economy.