NEW PUBLICATION - Least but not last?
A new publication produced by V4 NGDOs has come out of the prints and is available in printed version at DemNet Foundation's office in Budapest, or could be downloaded from here or from www.demnet.hu.
Least but not last?
Least Developed Countries in Official Development Assistance of Visegrad Four Countries
This report is an outcome of a research study dealing with the position of the least developed countries (LDCs) in development policies of Visegrad Four (V4) countries from 2004
to 2008. Sponsors of the research1 "perceive[d] that there has been insufficient lesson
learning and experience sharing on the regional level and would like to support analysis
comparing the national ODA systems in the V4 countries, specifically with regard to ODA
allocated to LDCs" (People in Need, 2009).
Focus on least developed countries is important for two reasons. First, although according to
statistics there has been significant progress made in many countries in the world over the
past decades, there is still a group of states that have continued to be trapped in the vicious
cycle of poverty. It is thus essential to have a concise overview of how V4 countries participate
in efforts to improve the situation in LDCs within national ODA policies. Second, from
recent studies (for example Collier, 2007) it has been evident that the aid provided to these
countries often does not have the expected impact and that LDCs in fact become dependent
on external aid. This situation not only hinders their development in the long-term perspective
but, contrary to the well-intended goals of development, assistance leads to increased
vulnerability of the LDC populations. The issue of aid effectiveness along with the perceived
need for better coordination and cooperation among the donors thus seems to be crucial
in efforts to achieve goals set up on international and national levels with regard to LDCs.
Based on this assessment, the main questions for comparative analysis were therefore
set in two areas:
1. How are LDCs included in development policies and official development aid of V4
2. What are the opportunities for improvement both on national levels and via
cooperation among V4 countries in leveraging aid effectiveness for LDCs?
The research was conducted at the national level from December 2009 to March 2010
through study of printed and electronic materials and through interviews with key
stakeholders in each of the V4 countries. The comparative analysis was performed in the
period from April to June 2010 and revised and updated in September 2010.