Southern Perspectives on Reform of the International Development Architecture

This project is commissioned by the North-South Institute, Canada and is implemented in Sri Lanka by the IPS. The objective of the project is to better understand the priorities and concerns of low-income countries in relation to the existing international development architecture. The project recognizes that despite increasing emphasis on developing country leadership and ‘ownership’, the amounts of aid delivered to low-income countries, and the terms, conditions and modalities of support, are all typically determined by donors, with little input from recipients. Recent attempts have been made to reform this development architecture, but the majority of input in this aspect has again been dominated by developed nations. The project attempts to contribute to altering this imbalance. It will do so by increasing knowledge of southern perspectives on reform of the international development architecture, so that this knowledge can feed into, and influence policy debates and processes internationally and at the developing country level. Five case studies and three thematic papers make up the project. Sri Lanka is one of the five case studies with the other four countries being Burundi , Nigeria , Bolivia and Vietnam .

Each case study addresses questions such as the relative influence of the Bretton Woods Institutions and regional development banks; relations with bilateral donors; the importance of ODA in overall development financing; the perceived value of the UN system; issues in aid coordination and duplication, the level of voice of recipient countries in implementation, and the impacts of recent attempts at aid reform. The study was carried out largely by way of stakeholder interviews and focus group discussions.

Research team

Saman Kelegama
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Dehal de Mel


North South Institute, Canada

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