The art of financing is a highly complex product of human creativity. Undoubtedly those of us who are masters of this art can be extremely influential. Especially so in the area of so called “development” aid. Unfortunately, where art and politics meet the potential “beauty” of possible positive results to behold in that area remains more and more invisible to the eyes of the outside observer.
In many countries the policy for disbursement of funds more and more shifts from project aid to budget aid, as has just been reported in Süddeutsche Zeitung about the German federal audit court. The German Government is going to spent 400 million euros on budget aid this year.
It is hard to control whether this aid which disappears in the total budget of the recipient country is used efficiently. No single entity can be held acccountable and responsible for the proper handling of the funds as is possible in the case of concrete and evaluable projects.
Budget aid is obviously being used strategically in select states. It allows to influence more than just one specific project, it exerts power over the overall politics of a country.
What is certain is that with budget aid indigenous groups are increasingly dependant on the goodwill of the states in whose territories they find themselves in and on the states’ relations to donor countries to access and benefit from any of the funds provided. How will indigenous groups be able to play an active role in the discussions with the states and decide for themselves what is best for them in terms of using the funds for indigenous education health and other matters of vital interest?