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Colección: Trends for a common future
Autor: Noel F. McGinn
Título: Toward International Cooperation in Education for the Integration of the Americas

Aid as a Form of International Cooperation

When cooperation primarily involves a transfer of resources either as loan or as gift from one party to others, it is called aid, or assistance. There are two basic perspectives on aid. In the first, or “deficit” perspective, aid is offered because the other party is seen as lacking something the giver can provide. The resources seen as missing in the receiver may be capital, technologies, institutional capacity, or personnel (called technical assistance). The aid giver presumes that assistance will directly solve the problem.

A second perspective on aid is that sometimes the other party has all the resources required, but is not using them properly. In this situation the objective of aid is to change internal processes and structures in a country. Aid can, it is claimed, support presumed forces of “modernization,” or compel shifts in policies. Aid can help in the clarification and conceptualization of problems and solutions. This is known as the “decision” approach to aid. In last 50 years there has been a gradual shift from the deficit to the decision model for justifying assistance, but both models are still applied.

Aid and assistance are provided by three kinds of organizations:

1) Governmental organizations, when cooperation is between governments of two or more countries. Most aid is provided through “bilateral assistance agencies” such as USAID, CIDA, SIDA, ODA, GTZ, etc. In some cases aid has been provided through government ministries of agriculture, defense, and even police (Huggins, 1993).

2) Supranational organizations, also called “multilateral assistance agencies” such as: those of the United Nations family, UNDP, UNICEF, UNESCO; the World Bank; and regional development banks such as the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB).

Some of these agencies (e.g., the World Bank and IDB) provide aid primarily through loans. Not all persons regard these loans as “aid,” as principal is paid in full with interest, but the lending organizations were created for the purpose of assisting and aiding member nations.

Other supranational organizations primarily provide grants. Some provide only gifts of ideas. UNESCO, for example, does not provide large amounts of capital or technical assistance but is an active player, particularly in poor countries, in shaping “ideas” about development.

3) Private or non-governmental organizations (sometimes called PVOs, most commonly NGOs). Although these organizations may have headquarters (and funding sources predominantly) in one country, they often operate in several countries and sometimes are called “international NGOs”. This category includes philanthropic foundations, such as Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Kellogg; and relief and development agencies such as Care, Caritas, and World Vision, Save the Children Foundation. The foundations have their own income sources, but currently provide relatively little aid to education in the Americas. The relief and development agencies sometimes operate autonomously with their own funds, but often are funded through multilateral or bilateral agencies.

During the 1980s aid to education was about 9 per cent of all bilateral and multilateral aid. Lockheed and Verspoor report that primary education received only 5 per cent of this total. One-third of aid for primary education came from bilateral donors. The World Bank contributed (worldwide) 27 percent and IDB 9 per cent. About 30 percent of aid to primary education went to budgetary assistance, 23 per cent to construction, and 13 per cent to food (Lockheed & Verspoor, 1991).

In general the European countries have over time increased the proportion of their GDP that is spent on aid. In recent years both the United States and Japan have decreased their contributions to aid, but Japan remains the largest single donor. Among the OECD countries the United States spends the lowest proportion of its GDP on aid (Smillie, 1997; Stokke, 1996). Despite the promises made at the World Conference on Education for All, total aid for education is less after the Conference than before, for all regions of the world except Latin America (Bennell & Furlong, 1998). The recent decline in level of aid to education is seen in Table 1 below. It should be noted, however, that will official (bilateral and multilateral) aid (in general and for education) is declining, commercial banks have increased their lending to developing countries for education and other projects.

Table 1. Aid for Education from Various Sources,
Millions of Constant 1994 US Dollars

SOURCE

1961


1965


1970


1975


1980


1985


1990


1995


Bilateral
agencies*

. . .


3412


3629


4038


5962


4597


4073


3985


World
Bank

0


230


420


637


773


1785


1664


1924


UNESCO
Total
budget
Education
programs
External
sources**



228

52

. . .




229

70

141




401

85

117




439

105

214




532

99

175




721

169

. . .




424

82

83




418

89

94


UNICEF

14


16


19


35


57


52


89


110


*OECD Countries
**Primarily UNDP
Source: (Mundy, 1999, p. 99)

[INDEX] [Presentation] [Introduction] [The Evolution of International Cooperation in Education in the Americas] [Cooperation After Nationalism] [International Cooperation as Supranationalism] [Cooperation for International Development] [Resistance to Aid] [Cooperation as Collaboration within Latin America] [Cooperation as Structural Adjustment] [The Current Situation of Education in the Americas] [Current Status of Education] [Summary] [Current Forms of International Cooperation] [Aid as a Form of International Cooperation] [Varieties of Aid] [Uniformization as a Consequence of Aid] [Aid or Assistance from Bilateral and Multilateral Organizations] [Cooperation by Transnational Corporations] [Aid and Assistance from NGOs] [Aid by Philanthropic Foundations] [Aid Mediated through Educational Institutions] [International Cooperation in the Form of Collaboration] [Examples of Collaboration in Higher Education] [Obstacles to International Collaboration in Higher Education] [Examples of Collaboration Between Non-governmental Organizations] [Other Instances of Collaboration] [Summary] [Globalization and International Cooperation] [The New Industrial Paradigm] [Implications of the New Industrial Paradigm for Education] [The New Development Model] [An Outline of a New Paradigm for Education] [Alternative Approaches to International Cooperation in Education] [An Example of Regional Collaboration to Develop a New Paradigm] [Notes] [References]