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A seminar on ‘Multi-Stakeholder National Consultation: CSOs and Aid Effectiveness’ was held in the city yesterday. The seminar was organised jointly by a research and advocacy organisation (and APC-member) VOICE and a global networking organisation ‘Reality of Aid’ at the Brac Centre, said a press release.
A
seminar on ‘Multi-Stakeholder National Consultation: CSOs and Aid
Effectiveness’ was held in the city yesterday. The seminar was
organised jointly by a research and advocacy organisation VOICE and a
global networking organisation ‘Reality of Aid’ at the Brac Centre,
said a press release.


The daylong seminar aimed at making aid more effective in a
more right-based approach through engaging multi-stakeholders like
donors, government and NGOs.


The seminar discussed five principles
upraised at the Paris Declaration 2005, which was signed by Bangladesh
government. The principles are ownership, alignment, harmonisation,
mutual accountability and managing for results.


The opening session was chaired by Prof Badiul Alam Majumder
with a group of panelist with Prof Mustafizur Rahman, research director
of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Farida Akhtar, executive director
of Ubinig, Abdul Awal of Supro. Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director
of VOICE, moderated the sessions.


Antonio Tujan Jr, member of the advisory group of
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development- Development
Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC), and chairperson of The Reality of Aid
Network, presented two keynote papers on ‘Objectives of the
Consultation’ and ‘Mandate and Programmes of Advisory Group’. Rezaul
Karim Chowdhury, executive director of COAST Trust, also read out
another keynote paper titled ‘In Between Aid and Effectiveness’.


Different stakeholders, donor agencies, NGOs, activist
groups, think tanks, trade union and representatives from various
networks working in the development sector expressed their opinions and
helped develop a national consultation to give feeds to its regional
forum. Antonio Tujan Jr in his papers stated about the reform
initiatives taken in the Paris Declaration to make the aid more
effective. He also put importance on the role of the Civil Society
Organisations (CSOs) making the aid actually work for the poor of the
underdeveloped countries.


As getting aid is a right, he said,
it is also not fair for the donors to impose conditions and ties while
giving loans, grants or aid.He said International Monetary Fund (IMF)
and World Bank (WB) are the main culprits for holding back Bangladesh
from effective development with their malicious conditions and tied
sanctions.


The speakers also presented several case studies in the
development sector which failed to reach its goal although it followed
the donor-agencies prescription. They demanded that the government
should make all its development policies transparent and provide
adequate information on the aid-related programmes to reach its
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


The CSOs also urged the government to open space and create
opportunities for them to help eradicate poverty in the country.The
summary of the consultation would feed into a regional consultation and
High Level Forum (HLF) to be held in Ghana in 2008, the release added.


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