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Governance, accountability and aid effectiveness

Trуcaire Policy Seminar

5 December 2005

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Opening Comments by Justin Kilcullen, Director: Trуcaire

Mr Kilcullen introduced the seminar by stating that the seminar was timely, as the issue of governance is at once high-profile, yet little understood and poorly debated. The Irish debate about governance has been hysterical and occasionally bordering on racist. The debate has been dominated by the media, which has been happy to portray corruption as the fundamental root of all problems in the developing world, particularly Africa. Their success is apparent in the results of a survey conducted by Comic Relief in July of this year, in which 80% of all respondents in the UK felt that aid money was frequently wasted since it went to corrupt governments. There is no reason to expect that the response would be different in Ireland. At one point, this one-sided discourse threatened Ireland's commitment to the 0.7% of target, although all the agencies involved rallied to overcome the threat.

In reality, the issues of corruption and poor governance are functions of the problems of underdevelopment, and must be tackled holistically. This seminar is an attempt to raise the level of debate; as such, it is lucky to have very good and very knowledgeable speakers.

Mr Kilcullen thanked Proinsias de Rossa, MEP, for hosting the seminar in the European Parliament office in Dublin, and welcomed the speakers:

Kevin Carroll, Governance Advisor, Development Cooperation Ireland
Barbara Kalima-Phiri, Southern Africa Regional Poverty Network (SARPN)
Prof. Tony Killick, Senior Research Associate, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK
Prof. Mick Moore, Centre for the Future State, Institute for Development Studies (IDS), UK
Hon Jacob Oulanyah MP, Uganda
Jack Jones Zulu, Coordinator and Policy Analyst, Jubilee Zambia.

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