Posts Tagged 'Conditionality'

Constructive Debates on Conditionality

Conditionality DebateThe Council has been encouraging constructive debate around the recent Statement of African social justice activists on conditionality in response to LGBTI-related human rights concerns in Africa and beyond.  Many of us here at the Council for Global Equality, which focuses on advocacy with U.S. foreign policy leaders in the United States, have found the statement useful.  We trust it is equally helpful for many of our colleagues in other donor countries who also lobby their foreign and development ministries.

Within the Council, we are debating whether some forms of conditionality are appropriate in response to human rights concerns.  Indeed, some have even argued that the failure to condition some forms of aid in the face of deteriorating human rights conditions is even more alarming, and a violation of the public trust that citizens have placed in the U.S. government to put our development resources to their best use.

Let us step back and make three assertions, all of which are followed by a series of questions for ongoing discussion.  First, not all aid is the same, and while perhaps some humanitarian aid should never have any conditions attached (although that, too, is open for discussion), other forms of aid seem to lend themselves to some form of conditionality.  Second, not all conditions are the same; the context matters enormously.  And third, consultation and partnership with local organizations seems to be the key, and that is where we clearly see a need for more discussion.  In particular, we need to develop a better understanding of what constitutes meaningful and sufficient consultations around such complex decisions, taking into account the power dynamics that have been so well articulated by African social justice activists. Continue reading ‘Constructive Debates on Conditionality’


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