2004-2005 is a major window for change in the international aid architecture. Agenda for the UK's concurrent chair of the G7 and the EU and for the 2005 UN Special Assembly on the Millennium Goals are in play. Major commissions on global governance will deliver verdicts. Elections loom large in several key countries. The mandates of other key leaders - EU, IMF and World Bank- are up for renewal. Meanwhile, the aid landscape is still adapting to rapid structural change. New instruments have been launched (like the Global Fund or the US Millennium Challenge Account) or mooted (the International Financing Facility) with profound implications for the system as a whole. Attitudes to multilateralism and to aid in post-conflict environments have shifted profoundly in the wake of 9/11. Ambitious commitments on the volume and quality of aid, and its anchoring in good governance and sovereign choice, have yet to be implemented. A stocktaking of where the aid system as a whole is headed is therefore timely.
This project involves a seminar series on the future of aid, running from January to February 2004, sponsored by DFID. The seminar series will also produce a series of Opinions papers.
The World Bank is funding a scoping paper to accompany the seminar series, entitled 'The International Aid System 2005-2010: forces for and against change.