Will ‘Emerging Donors’ Change the Face of International Co-operation?


  • This article is the text of a speech given at a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Overseas Development organised by the Overseas Development Institute on 9 March 2006. The author gratefully acknowledges information and comments from colleagues in OECD, the World Bank and DFID. The speech reflects the personal opinions of the author and in no way purports to present the views of the Development Assistance Committee, the OECD or any other organisation.


Responding to the recent upsurge of interest in ‘emerging donors’, this article argues that the DAC share of aid is likely to decline only slowly from what is a historically high level, and at least some non-DAC donors are likely to see DAC approaches and norms as relevant. Nevertheless, low-income countries seem likely to have a wider range of financing options. Three key risks are that: they prejudice their debt situation by borrowing on inappropriate terms; they use low-conditionality aid to postpone necessary adjustment; and they waste resources on unproductive investments. DAC members should develop constructive dialogue with other bilateral donors based on recognition that sustainable development and poverty reduction should be the core purpose of aid.