Submitted by Novartis
BASEL - December 7, 2007 - International experts today debated how to ensure that aid from the industrialized world succeeds in helping the developing world deal with poverty and disease. The 9th annual symposium of the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development focused on "making aid work," including potential cooperative structures such as performance-based development.
Speakers at the event in the morning discussed different theoretical and practical perspectives on how to make aid more effective and efficient, while the afternoon session explored management approaches to bring about the desired development results. Approximately 400 development agency staff, government officials, academics, students and representatives of industry attended the symposium.
Klaus M. Leisinger, President and CEO of the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, opened the symposium, saying: "Every three seconds, a person dies from extreme poverty, starvation or AIDS. To solve the problems that lead to this unacceptable state of affairs remains the single most important rationale for development assistance. So it is not the 'yes' or 'no' for development cooperation that is up for debate this time - it is 'how,' leading to the biggest 'bang for the buck.'"
Richard Manning, chair of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC), outlined three keys for more effective aid: predictability, accountability and cost-effectiveness.
Performance-based funding (PBF), which has gained considerable acceptance as a potential solution for effective development cooperation, was discussed in the symposium from the perspectives of both "Northern" (or donor) countries and "Southern" (or recipient) countries.
"PBF forces the 'North' to acknowledge limitations of the implementing organizations and to provide assistance for addressing them," said Manfred StÃ¶rmer, a consultant in international health financing. On the other hand, he said, "PBF forces the 'South' to formulate realistic targets and to address and overcome problems for achieving them. As a result, performance-based funding provides a basis for a mutually beneficial partnership."
Vinya Ariyaratne, executive director of The Sarvodaya Movement in Sri Lanka, supports the PBF approach but also points to some limitations: "Dynamic organizations like Sarvodaya can be reduced to a position where they are merely asked to deliver a set of agreed outputs rather than being agents of social change, the reasons such organizations were founded in the first place." Although he understands that donors are expected to prove their money is well-spent by demonstrating positive results, he said it is quite easy to talk about achieved goals while avoiding the question of whether these goals also have brought about changes in the quality of life.
The Foundation's annual symposium is conceived as a platform for critical reflection and controversial discussions, exploring issues and debating principles of development from a wide range of perspectives. It attracts a diverse audience of people active in international aid and development.
Photographs and presentations from the symposium are available on the website of the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development: www.novartisfoundation.org/symposium.
About the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development
The Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development is a nonprofit organization whose activities form part of the Corporate Social Responsibility portfolio of Novartis AG, which finances the Foundation’s operations. The Foundation’s mission is to support healthcare programs in developing countries, providing help for self-help. Its core competencies also include in-depth analysis, consulting and publications in the fields of corporate responsibility and development policy. By harnessing synergies between project work, think tank activities and the facilitation of dialogue, it elaborates innovative strategies for familiar development problems. In 2006, the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development invested approximately CHF 10 million in projects, largely in Africa and Asia.
For more information on the Foundation and on specific projects, please visit: www.novartisfoundation.org.
Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2012, the Group achieved net sales of USD 56.7 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.3 billion (USD 9.1 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 129,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit www.novartis.com.
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