An Indian Model of Aid: Rethinking Policy Perspectives

Abstract: From non-aligned movement to the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, and from Accra Agenda to the Busan declaration, global aid architecture has been continuously evolving. There has been an increased global realisation for development cooperation, and thus south-south cooperation initiatives which incorporates inclusive partnerships, sectoral-approach and multi-stakeholder orientation also intensified. Besides DAC donors, the global South now relies on its own ability for mutual cooperation among the 150-plus countries which constitutes it. Some of the key Southern donors include India, China and Saudi Arabia, among others, who understand south-south cooperation as a partnership among equals based on solidarity, and not typically a donor-recipient relationship. In case of India, there is no denying the fact that the way India involves in providing development assistance to countries in Asia and Africa, suggests that there exists an Indian model of Aid too. This model, as proposed in this paper, is based on a holistic approach which arguably encompasses economic cooperation (including infrastructure, aid-for-trade), humanitarian assistance & community development, education & capacity building and technical assistance. These parameters of cooperation have largely revolved around improving climate for trade and investments which gives a desired sustainability to the Indian model of Aid. The paper explains this proposed model in the light of India’s trade and investments cooperation in sub-regional identities in Africa (e.g. ECOWAS, SADC etc.), and its engagements in select Asian LDCs including Afghanistan, Myanmar and others. The paper also suggests the way ahead and would be beneficial for the proposed development partnership administration department in the MEA.

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