Friday, 28 August 2009

Bravo Shaukat—rethink aid build capacity!

We all know that the army is good only at usurping power but little else. They went looking for an economist and got a smooth suave private banker—Shaukat Aziz. So much for their intelligence (no pun intended).

Our new Shaukat--Shaukat Tarin the Finance Minister of Pakistan-- has finally got it that even to obtain aid you must know your mind and negotiate. He has raised the all important issue of how donor funds never reach Pakistan or are intermediated away. Sadly no one in the media has picked it up. I feel particularly sad since I have been raising this subject for years.

Let us look at the USAID figures (See table below) which I have got from their website. Of the 1.2 billion that they report their only about 20 are given to local institutions like the Khushali Bank and HEC. The rest are all awarded to American firms that none of know anything about. Even though some of these firms have been here for years, we still do not know of them or hear of their consultants or even see them.

What are these firms doing? How are they affecting our policy? What is the quality of their consultants? Who makes up projects with fancy titles like “empower Pakistan”? Where are these projects reviewed? What Pakistani intellect is brought to bear on these projects?

Sadly we do not ask these questions. The media is focused on rumor and sensation. They do not question USAID officials. The only time USAID official s appear on TV is to teach Yoga! Expensive yoga lessons!

Unfortunately our talent finds no place at home since all policy thinking is done by the consultants who have large research funds and the government ear at their disposal. It is not surprising that I find Pakistani PhDs and engineers running franchises in the US instead of contributing to policy.

We should reflect on this aid.

Project

Implementing Firm

Amount (USD million)

Duration

Pakistan Legislative Strengthening Project (PSLP)

Development Alternatives, Inc.

17

September 2005 - May 2010

Pakistan Districts That Work (DTW)

The Urban Institute

26

August 2006 - November 2009

Pakistan Election Support Program

IFES, UNDP, The Asia Foundation, & Democracy International

32

September 2006 - September 2010

Earthquake construction

CDM construction

120

Sep 06-Sep 2011

Community Rehabilitation Infratructure support program

Winrock International

150

Feb 09 -Feb14

Community Rehabilitation Integration and decentralization in Earthquake affected areas

International Rescue Committee

28

Sep 06-Sep 10

Revitalizing, Innovating and strengthening Education

American Institutes of Research

17

Improving Livelihoods and Enterprise Development

CNFA Inc

28

Sep 06 sep 09

Developing Financial Services for Communiteis witout credit

Khushhali Bank (KB)

11

September 2003 to September 2010

Competitive Support Fund (CSF)

Foreign consultatn

11

Sep 06 sep 09

Improve Agricultural Practices in Balochistan

fao

15

November 2004 to December 2011

Empower Pakistan: Energy Policy

Advanced Engineering Associates Inc.

6

October 2008 to October 2010

Empower Pakistan: Energy Efficiency and Capacity

International Resource Group (IRG)

26

March 2009 to March 2012

Empower Pakistan: Jobs

Care International

80

May 2009 to May 2014

Empower Pakistan: Firms

Chemonics

90

May 2009 to May 2013

Empower Pakistan: Performance

QED Group

25

February 2009 to March 2014

USAID - Fulbright Scholarship Program

U.S. Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP)

93

September 2004 - September 2009

Collaborative Capacity Building of Human Rights and Gender

American University Washington College of Law

2.4

January, 2009 - January, 2013

College Improvement Program at FC College

Forman Christian College, Lahore

5

September 2004 - September 2009

Higher Education Commission - Financial Aid Development (HEC-FAD) Program

Academy for Educational Development (AED)

4

September 2008 - September 2010

Links to Learning: Education Support to Pakistan (ED-LINKS)

American Institutes for Research (AIR

90

October 2007 - September 2012

Merit and Needs-based Scholarship Program,

Higher Education Commission

6.8

July 2004 - onwards

Pre-Service Teachers Education Program (Pre-STEP)

Academy for Educational Development (AED)

75

September 2008 - September 2013

Strenghtening Teacher Education in Pakistan

UNESCO

3.4

October 2005 - June 2009

US-Pakistan Science and Technology coop program

National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

7.5

June 2005 - December 2011

Food Security Relief Program in Pakistan

World Food Program

22.3

January 2009 - March 2010

Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns (PAIMAN)

John Snow Research and Training Institute Inc. (Prime)

92.8

October 2004 - September 2010

Family Advancement for Life and Health (FALAH)

Population Council

60

June 2007 - May 2012

Technical Assistance for Capacity-building in Midwifery, Information and Logistics (TACMIL)

Abt Associates Inc.

10.9

December 2007 - December 2009

Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP)

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

5.7

September 2005 (Annual Buy-in)

Pakistan Polio Eradication Initiative: Surveillance

World Health Organization (WHO)

4.8

October 2004 - September 2009

Pakistan HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Project (PHAPCP)

Research Triangle Institute (RTI)

3.3

February 2006 - June 2009

Pakistan Safe Drinking Water and Hygiene Promotion Project (PSDW-HPP)

Abt Associates Inc.

17.9

October 2006 - September 2009

Strengthening of Tuberculosis to Enhance the Quality of DOTS Program in Pakistan

World Health Organization (WHO)

6

September 2004 - March 2009

$1,192