As the deadline approaches for the Millennium Development Goals, now is a time to reconsider how to engage with developing countries. Global Fund head, Dr Mark Dybul and dean of Harvard’s School of Public Health, Dr Julio Frenk, say that it is time actually move to the reality of shared responsibility and mutual accountability.
The problem is the status quo does not foster such cooperation. They call for a new consensus that moves away from reaction to paternalism and towards shared responsibility and mutual accountability. Their ideas are summed up in a blog post for the Huffington Post.
Principles might include: reaffirmation of the basic principles of shared responsibility and mutual accountability; a commitment to support and participate in the planning processes and funding priorities of low- and middle-income countries rather than create parallel engagement; focusing investments globally or in regions or countries of particular interest as co-investors with other development partners under national strategies; technical exchange, and; over time, increasing participation as a funder of multilateral organizations that recognize the importance and unique roles of the emerging powers in their governance structures.
They argue that it is the emerging powers, countries who have successfully moved away from the grips of poverty, that can share their experiences and knowledge with countries that remain behind. It puts a country like India and China in a much better position that the US and UK to support, teach and learn from countries like Zambia and Sierra Leone.
One way the emerging powers can participate is by expanding their investments in organizations like the Global Fund, say Dybul and Frenk.
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But we should not expect emerging powers to simply adapt to existing models of development. They may generate their own models, which the rest of the world should welcome and support. And collectively, those of us in the development community should think hard about how we — in our models and institutions — must evolve to embrace and promote the emerging powers’ potential for effecting positive impact regionally and globally. We will also need to imagine and create new, structured ways of measuring and encouraging accountability around new models and principles.