International aid is about much more than money. The UN Millennium Development Goals and major events like Live 8 have focused the world spotlight on issues of poverty relief and aid like never before, but have not concentrated on the quality of relationships that can make aid succeed or fail. This book, authored by an internationally renowned group of aid practitioners, reveals the contradictions and challenges involved in forging these relationships. International development organizations combine the unbridled play of power and arrogant amnesia with serious and innovative efforts to create a more democratic world, to support transformative learning and to strengthen accountability. The book explores recent attempts from within aid agencies to go against the current flow of top-down results based management by learning how to build lasting partnerships that transfer power to those at the receiving end of aid. More than just a critique, the authors offer a practical framework for understanding relationships in the international aid system and look at the relevance of organizational learning theory, which is widely used in business.
Introduction * Part I Framing the Issues * Learning for Development * Making Relationships Matter for Aid Bureaucracies * Part II Reflective Practice * Learning from People Living in Poverty: Learning from Immersions * Making Connections: Learning about Participation in a Large Aid Bureaucracy * Learning about Relationships in Development * Part III Organizational Learning through Value-based Relationships: Possibilities and Challenges * Supporting Rights and Nurturing Networks: The Case of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in Peru * Bringing Systems into Line with Values: The Practice of the Accountability, Learning and Planning System (ALPS) * Money Matters in Aid Relationships