Patrick Kilby: Looking back looking forward

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Patrick Kilby: Looking back looking forward

  1. 1. Looking Back Looking Forward: The Challenges for ACFID in its second fifty years. Dr Patrick Kilby
  2. 2. “Where did you go to, if I may ask?' said Thorin to Gandalf as they rode along. To look ahead,' said he. And what brought you back?„ Looking behind,' said he.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit  Paper from a Book for the 50th Anniversary in 2015 – “The Politics of Aid”.  Book is thematic but this session will be more chronological loosely around four themes
  3. 3.  The changing nature of aid and development  The changing nature of NGOs  Relations with government.  How does a peak body like ACFID respond to an increasingly diverse constituency,
  4. 4. The Early Years 1960s-1970s  First Development decade - one of hope.  WCC and the 1% campaign in 1958 adopted by UN in 1960 (became 0.7% in 1970 with FDI dropped from it);  Global Freedom From Hunger Campaign (1962) shifted NGOs and public awareness;  NGOs recognised as development actors by the UN in 1963;  Social Justice Movement (Catholic and WCC) SDAPAX led to AWD  ACFID proposed in 1963 founded in 1965.
  5. 5. 1960s-1970s contd  Govt relations weak in the 1960s (Vietnam Project);  A more radical agenda in the 1970s (failure of first Development Decade) social justice and liberation movement supported; Global Education the priority. Public funding high.  Whitlam govt introduced government funding as a subsidy but remained at a low level; Harries report (1979) dismissive of NGOs  Much shouting but little listening – division within NGO community about the „radical‟ agenda – Tasmania Summer School of 1976 last hurrah
  6. 6. The 1980s: a closer engagement with Government  1979 Cambodian crisis and large appeal brought NGOs into spotlight and gave govt „access‟ to Cambodia;  1983 change of government led to massive increase of aid to NGOs, and into bilateral programs;  Code of Ethics 1986-1989;  Start of large Campaigns One World or None
  7. 7. 1990-2000s a New Set of Challenges  Biting the hand that feeds;  Criticising government publically – High Court Case on tax deductabiilty, gag orders in contracts, ACNC response;  Criticising government privately – letter to submission to DAC Committee in 2004 resulted in a „dressing down‟. Similar in Canada in early 1990s;  Too Close for Comfort („Dependency‟ on govt funding);  Drop in govt funding to NGOs 1990-2010 (as % aid program); increase in public funding.  Vagaries of political cycle Domestic peaks defunded 2000-2002; CCIC (Canada) and CID (NZ) both defunded in 2010s
  8. 8. Challenges for Future Large and Small NGOs – whose voice?;   Government argues that 10 largest NGOs represent 80-90% NGO public funding so they should be listened to;  ACFID argues diversity of sector improves the quality of advice e.g. disability pushed by smaller niche NGOs; likewise environment, and HIV/AIDS;  NGOs are more globalised
  9. 9. The Future  Participatory democracy not in favour - new corporatism globally,  Poor people in middle income countries  pressure on NGOs on advocacy, becomes more general; partners are squeezed;  Government funding of NGOs will fall as bilateral relations take precedence and the role of new donors (e.g China);  New NGOs and new media (24 hr news cycle) dispersal of messages;
  10. 10. Thank You

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