Peter Lilley launched the Globalisation and Global Poverty Group’s final report this morning. It is substantial, detailed report and it makes 76 recommendations. You can download a copy of the report here.
Like the Social Justice report the Global Poverty report demonstrates the depth of the policy work that the Party is undertaking. David Cameron can be very grateful to Peter Lilley and the other members of the Group for their work on this excellent report which communicates a conservative vision for fighting poverty in the developing world through more "real" trade and more effective aid.
The Group’s main recommendations are:
The report proposes an all-party campaign, called Real Trade, which will work to give all poor countries real opportunities to trade with the developed world through:
- "Unilateral tariff and quota-free access to the EU (and all other developed economies) for all goods
and services from low income countries.
- "Liberalised Rules of Origin so that genuine tariff and quota free access would be available to low
"income countries on substantially all of their output.
- "The abolition of all export subsidies from the EU and other developing countries.
- "An increased emphasis on Aid for Trade (i.e. aid dedicated to helping developing countries build up their capacity to export).
- "Incentives (including compensation for lost tariff revenues) to low income countries to reduce trade barriers against neighbouring low income countries and particularly to kickstart development of a Pan African Trade Area."
More Effective Aid
The Group argues “the focus must now move from increasing the amount of aid to increasing its effectiveness. The purpose of aid is not to make the donors feel good … the aid must actually do good”. It recognises the causes of inneffective aid and proposes:
- "Partnership Trusts: the UK should promote Partnership Trusts in each country, pooling the aid efforts of as many donors as possible through one simple channel. Recipient governments would be spared from dealing with multiple donors with conflicting reporting requirements. Local representatives would be non-voting trustees, advising on strategy and monitoring performance.
- "Predictability: DFID should, where possible, make three year rolling commitments and give indicative ten year projections for aid.
- "Demand-led Funding: Aid projects are currently initiated from the top down. To harness the knowledge, experience and self-interest of people in each developing country, the Report recommends establishing Demand-led Funds to allocate the aid budget. They would invite project applications from local organisations, NGOs, and private companies as well as national and local governments and finance the best, subject to robust performance measures and auditing arrangements.
- "Independent Evaluation Group: This would be modelled on the National Audit Office. It would evaluate DFID’s aid effort and report direct to Parliament.
- "Global Donor Index: to put pressure on donors to improve governance of their aid efforts, the Report proposes publishing an annual Global Donor Index designed to measure each donor country’s performance and effectiveness."
The Report calls for corruption to be acknowledged and says the UK should seek greater accountability of how aid is spent. Because conditional aid is hard to enforce the Report says the focus should be on transparency and improve financial management. It also says British officials should not be afraid to highlight corruption.