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Universiteit Antwerpen

Master Politieke Communicatie

Masterpiece: What is the role of web 2.0 in development aid?

“A qualitative research of the Flemish fourth pillar activities.”

Francine Carron

Promoter: Prof. Chris Aalberts


List with acronyms 3

List with tables 4

List with figures 5


1.1 Research Question 8

1.2 Relevance 8

1.2.1 Academic Relevance 8

1.2.2 Societal Relevance 9

1.3 Outline 9

2. THEORY 10

2.1 Web 2.0 11

2.1.1 Introduction 11

2.1.2 Key Principles 11 Visible manifestations of web 2.0: Multi-media sharing & SNS 12 Data on epic scale 16 User Created Content 18 Harnessing Power 19 Architecture of participation 20 Underlying Technologies 20 Network effects and openness 21

2.1.3 Conclusion 22

2.2 Development Aid 26

2.2.1 Introduction 26

2.2.2 History of development aid 28 Historical Intentions and Motives of development aid 33

2.2.3 Traditional Structures of development aid 36 Multilateral Aid 36 Bilateral Aid 42 Aid via development aid NGO’s 45 Private Initiatives 46

2.2.4 Conclusion 47

2.3 Development Aid 2.0 49

2.3.1 Introduction 49

2.3.2 Development aid 2.0 explained 50

2.3.3 Web 2.0 as a tool for development aid 2.0 52 Social networks and multimedia sites as a tool for development aid 53

2.4 Conclusion 56

3. Methods and Data

3.1 Introduction ((herhaalt de vraag die je al eerder in scriptie hebt gesteld – 10 regels)
3.2 Method (Literature Research)- Verschillend deel ?
3.3 Interviews
3.4 xxx
3.5 Conclusion

4. Results Raises more awareness, more transparency,….

4.2 Conclusions Quantitative Data???

4.2 Conclusions Qualitative Data??

5. Conclusion Web 2.0 brings people closer to the development world…The future

6. Discussion
7. Bibliography
8. Annexes

List with acronyms

AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

Asian Development Bank (ADB)
CASIW: Cellule d’Appui pour la Solidarite Internationale Wallonne
CSO: Civil Society Organizations
DAC: Development Assistance Committee
ERP: European Recovery Program
EU: European Union
HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus
IBBT – SMIT: Studies on Media, Information & Telecommunication
JSIC Tech Watch: British JISC Technology & Standard Watch
MDG: Millennium Development Goals
NGO: Non-Governmental Organization
ODA: Official Development Assistance
OECD: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
OOEC: Organization for European Economic Cooperation
OOF: Other Official flows
PI: Private Initiatives
SNS: Social networking sites
SPA: Special Program of Assistance for Africa
UK: United Kingdom
UN: United Nations
UNIDO: United Nations Industrial Development Organization
US: United States
USA: United States of America
WB: World Bank

List with tables

Table 2.A: Percentages of people in America that create user created content 17

Table 2.C: overview over how many billions dollar per year is given to developing
countries. 28

Table 2.D: Chronology of foreign aid 30

Table 2.E: Schematic overview of development aid 33

Table 2.F: Multilateral aid disbursements 39

Table 2.G: Characteristics of development aid 1.0 and development aid 2.0 52

Table 2.H: Poverty Rates by Region, 1996 and 2015 55

List with figures

Figure 1: Growth in Internet usage 1991-2004 6

Figure 2.B: Logos of social networking sites and multi-media sharing sites 13

Figure 2.C: User experiences of Facebook 15

Figure 2.D: User created content creators in the EU 17

Figure 2. F: Main motives for giving development assistance 36

Figure 2. G: Rank of Countries by Multilateral % of Aid Commitments, 1967 39

Figure 2.H: Multilateral ODA disbursements by DAC member countries 2004-06 40

Figure 2.I: DAC member countries’ multilateral ODA (core contributions) to major
agencies 1987-2006 40

Figure 2.J: Organigram of multilateral aid 41

Figure 2.K: Number of multilateral agencies per country 2005-06 41

Figure 2.L: Number of multilateral agencies collectively contributing less than 10% of a
country’s aid 2005-06 42

Figure 2.M: Allocation of bilateral aid, 1970-93 44

Figure 2.N: Gross ODA by DAC member countries 1987-2006 44

Figure 2.O: Map of how millions of financial aid dollars flow around the world. Includes
the top twenty recipients and top five donors. 48

Figure 2.P: Web 2.0 in Europe 53

Figure 2.Q: 3 ways to create dialogue around your organization 54

Figure 2.R: UK Aid on Facebook 54

1. Introduction

The Internet has become totally embedded into our daily Western World lives; it is used
for both social and professional purposes. Web 2.0 is part of the Internet and has been
called the ‘read, write web’ in which user participation is the most important thing. Due
to capitalist markets, individuals have easy access to electronic accessories such as
laptops, Smartphone’s and digital cameras. Due to these technological advances, it has
become easy for people to make their own photos, videos, presentations, etc. and upload
their created content on to the Web. Everyone who has access to the Internet can view,
listen download or watch this information online. Over the past few years Web 2.0 has

become increasingly popular mostly because of its social networks. If we look at the
figures of Internet usage between 1991 and 2004 in the United States, Netherlands,
South Africa, Australia and the United Kingdom, it becomes clear that the Internet has
become an inseparable part of people’s life today. (Figure 1- below)

Web 2.0 has provided users with more freedom and more technologically tools for
people to achieve broader goals. Individuals, companies, and organizations can now
reach out to the world via the Internet. It has changed the way business is conducted; it
has altered the way organizations are run and it has also changed the way people
communicate with each other. Web 2.0 is a new dimension into our lives.

For communication majors it is important to understand what the impact of this new
media technology is on society. Such new technologies need to be carefully explained.
It’s effects and usage must be analyzed. One can analyze how citizens, governments,
cooperation and so on use web 2.0. Since I am a political communication major I prefer
to analyze web 2.0 as a tool used in one of the most important aspects of the political
international agenda that is development aid. Development aid “is a topic that has
attracted much attention in academic and policy circles for more than half a century.”
(Arvin, 2002)

Development aid occupies a crucial role in the world economy. Simply defined
development aid covers governmental transfers to poverty-stricken countries for
development purposes. Development aid in its traditional structure is divided into two
main categories multilateral and bilateral aid. For the past 25 years there has been an
increased attention to a third category; aid through non-governmental organizations
(NGO’s). However, recently there is increased emphasis to a fourth type of aid that is
aid from ‘private initiatives’ (PI’s). In Belgium, these private initiatives are labeled
fourth pillar activities. Traditional development aid has evolved throughout the century
to today’s new concept of aid namely ‘development aid 2.0’.

Many understand ‘Development Aid 2.0’ as development organizations using web 2.0.
However, this is a common misunderstanding, development aid 2.0’ means more than
that. Web 2.0 is just a part of ‘development aid 2.0’. It is an extra tool for development
aid. The research for this masterpiece is focused on trying to understand ‘what the role
of web 2.0 is in development aid’. In order to comprehend the former I conduct a
qualitative research focusing on the Flemish fourth pillar activities.

In web 1.0, finding information is key. The first Internet phase is an aggregation of
islands. Each island being its own website. For people to find you, they need to know
your websites name or use correct search words. In web 2.0, finding information is no
longer key but participation is central. Users have also become producers of
information; the combination of both is named ‘prosumers’. One can describe web 1.0
as being the provider of information from a top- down approach and web 2.0 the
participatory Internet using a bottom-up approach. This theory can be transferred on to
development aid. Development aid 1.0 is the top –down approach and development 2.0
is the bottom – up approach. Web 2.0 is going to be the new communication tool in
order to raise awareness or engage people worldwide in development aid.

1.1 Research question

My primary research subject is ‘what is the role of web 2.0 in development aid’? In
order answer my main research question; I will first need to answer the following sub-

questions. How do development organizations use web 2.0 applications? To what extent
is there any evidence from a bottom up approach when development organizations are
using web 2.0? Is their interaction between the people and the organization; is their
evidence of an existing dialogue? Is web 2.0 in development aid a question of
broadening awareness or deepening awareness? Through virtual ethnography, online
surveys, a literature study and in depth interviews I will be able to answer my main

1.2. Relevance

1.2.1 Academic Relevance

The masterpiece will be enormously relevant in the field of new media communication
studies. Web 2.0 is a recent phenomenon of which research is limited. What is more
current is development aid 2.0. A term that was only coined in 2008, studies on
development aid 2.0 have not been conducted to date. On the Internet one can find
random hypotheses about web 2.0 and development 2.0 but proper academic research
has not been conducted. Therefore, by completing this research paper I will be amongst
the pioneers.

The IBBT – SMIT is a research center for Media, Information and Telecommunication
launched recently a research project that studies web 2.0 in development aid. So far no
on has mapped out the existing Flemish Private Initiatives and their presence on web
2.0. This masterpiece will explain how they are present, either top down or bottom up
and what exactly they do with web 2.0. This study can be a basis for further study in the
field of new media and international development.

1.2.2 Societal Relevance

Web 2.0 and the Internet are topics that are discussed on the daily basis. There are
television channels today that air shows called ‘web 2.0’ which are selections of the best
Youtube videos. One can say that web 2.0 is a hot topic. At the same time people are
already speculating the arrival of web 3.0 even though they haven’t been able to analyze

the full effects or the exact use of web 2.0. Therefore, my study will contribute to a
better explanation and understanding of what web 2.0 is used for.

International development aid has worldwide attention due to the United Nations (UN)
millennium campaign to reduce poverty worldwide by 2015. At the same time
development aid has taken a new approach and is practiced in a different way.
Combining both development aid and web 2.0 in one study will therefore contribute to
new developments in our society.

1.2.3 Outline

This theoretical study consists of two chapters. The first is a general introduction in
regards to development aid and web 2.0. The second is the explanation of the origins
and evolution of development aid and web 2.0. These preparation works allows me to
start developing my hypotheses, methodological framework and conduct the actual
research of the masterpiece.

2. Theory

2.1 Web 2.0

2.1.1 Introduction

Before introducing web 2.0, one needs to first define web 1.0, though the definition of
web 1.0 completely depends on the definition of web 2.0. It wasn’t until web 2.0 was
defined that web 1.0 could be explained. To keep it simple, web 1.0 in its simplest form

is making information available to the public via online channels. The owner of a web
site would publish information online and the user would read, listen or watch the
content. (Armstrong & Franklin, 2008)

Web 1.0 started disappearing in the fall of 2001 when the dot-com bubble burst. The
majority of people concluded that the Internet was overhyped. However, what most
people didn’t know was that frequent shakeouts and bubbles are universal features of
technological revolutions. Hi-tech reforms mark the point that new technologies are
ready to arise. Pretender technologies disappear; success stories survive and show their
strengths. Companies that survived the crash seemed to have common attributes.

These similar characteristics marked a turning point for the World Wide Web, the
beginning of ‘web 2.0’. The notion of ‘web 2.0’ began with a conference brainstorming
session between O'Reilly Media and Media Live International. This seminar came to be
known as the ‘web 2.0 conference’. Dale Dougherty, web pioneer and Tim O'Reilly,
noted, “far from having ‘crashed’, the web was more important than ever, with exciting
new applications and sites popping up with surprising regularity.” (O’Reilly, 2005)
After a year and a half since the term ‘web 2.0’ was coined by Tim O’Reilly in 2004 it
was cited on Google over 9.5 million times.

In their brainstorming session, O’Reilly and Dougherty divided existing web

applications in 1.0 and 2.0. In short, for the pioneers of the Web 2.0 concept Ofoto had
become Flickr, mp3.com had become Napster, Britannica Online had become Wikipedia
and personal websites had become blogs. Their list was endless but it helped them
identify the success characteristics of 1.0 applications and what the key aspects had
evolved into.

However, the term has no established definition and large disagreements exist about
what the term web 2.0 exactly means. It is important to clarify the understanding of web
2.0 as many organizations, people and companies are using the term without any real
understanding of what it means. For some people it is a “meaningless marketing
buzzword” and means one or more of the following terms: Social Software, Social
Media, Collaboration, Sharing content, Tagging, Social Networking, Blogs, Wikis,
MySpace, Facebook, Social Bookmarks, Podcasting, Mash-up. Youtube, RSS, Flikr, tag

cloud and folksonomy, while others accept it as conventional wisdom. In order to grasp
a clear understanding of the concept web 2.0, it is best to start at the original web 2.0
paper of Tim O’Reilly who coined the precedent term.

2.1.2 Key Principles web 2.0

For O’Reilly and Dougherty “web 2.0 doesn't have a hard boundary, but rather, a
gravitational core. One can visualize web 2.0 as a set of principles and practices that tie
together a veritable solar system of sites that demonstrate some or all of those principles,
at a varying distance from that core.” (See Figure 2.A)

The pioneers of the new web discuss seven key principles of web 2.0. These key
principles are, I quote: “firstly the services, not packaged software, with cost-effective
scalability”, simplified the current visible manifestations. Secondly “the control over
unique, hard-to-recreate data sources that get richer as more people use them” or in
simple words data on an epic scale. Thirdly, “trusting users as co-developers” or user
generated content. Fourthly “harnessing collective intelligence” or harnessing the power
of the crowd. Fifthly “leveraging the long tail through customer self-service” or enabling
the architecture of participation. Sixthly “software above the level of a single device” or
underlying web technologies. Seventhly lightweight user interfaces, development
models, AND business models”, simplified the network effects and openness. So before
one labels something as a web 2.0 initiative again, we should check against these seven
principles. The more features they have the more it comes close to being a web 2.0
These web 2.0 features are thoroughly discussed below. Visible 2.0 manifestations: Multi-media sharing and social networking sites

The first principle of web 2.0 is today’s most popular applications. Manifestations of
such are multi-media sharing and social networking sites. The former sites date from
around 2002 with widespread use starting in 2004. In order to get a feel of existing
multi-media sharing and social networking sites, take a look at figure 2.B below.

Figure 2.B:

Media sharing sites allow people to post podcasts (audio files), videos, photos, etc.
Examples of such sites are Flickr for photos, YouTube for videos, iTunes for podcasts,
Slideshare for presentations, scribd for documents, and so on. Media sharing sites also
allow users to contribute and tag their contributions with key words. On these websites
users can also post comments or give ratings.

In web 2.0 the largest Internet successes are that of social networking sites (SNS). Based
on the definition by Boyd, author of ‘Social Network Sites: Definition, History and
Scholarship’, “a SNS is a web-based environment that allows users to (1) create a
public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) construct a list of users in that
system with whom the user maintains connection, and (3) view connection lists (his/her
own or friends’ lists) and traverse between other connections’ profiles.” Social
networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and hi5 “allow the creation of online
communities of people with common interests.” (Id.)

Facebook is one of the largest Internet stories; “it facilitates interaction among
likeminded people by sharing information through the digital mapping of real-world
social connections”. (Facebook Factsheet). According to Alexa which is the largest web
information company, Facebook is the seventh most visited global website, while
MySpace is ranked sixth. “Both of these websites attract from the same pool of
primarily 18-30 year olds and although different in style, they offer similar
functionality” (Dwyer et al, 2007). Facebook provides the users with unique

Several researches in order to understand Facebook’s success and popularity have been
conducted. In the research of Ellison, Steinfield and Lampe, ‘The benefits of Facebook
friends’ states that Facebook “plays an important role in the process of forming and
managing social capital by improving self esteem and low life satisfaction as well as
crystallizing relationships that may remain short lived”. One of the exceptional aspects
of Facebook is that it makes use of the online and offline trends. People use it as a tool
for maintaining existing or previous relationships and research about people they have
just met offline. Most SNS are set up to search for new online friends also called ‘social
browsing’ with the “intention of moving that relationship offline.” (Lampe, Ellison,
Steinfield, 2007) According to the former authors and Wellman author of ‘For a Social
Network Analysis of Computer Networks’, “ social network members use online
channels less to meet new people and more to intensify offline relationships”. In an
interview with Jakob Nielsen on BBC news a randomly picked Facebook user explained
his usage as follows:

“That one of her main uses of Facebook is to keep in touch with people she has recently
met, “It’s like the stage in between email and texting. It’s a bit more personal than
email but you’re not quite at the stage to give them your mobile number yet so you add
them to Facebook”.

Another user explains that they use Facebook to check if others “have added anything

Hart et all in their Facebook study ‘Exploring the Facebook Experience: A New
Approach to Usability” asked “to rate the ease-of-use on a Likert scale of 1 to 5 (1 being

“very easy”, 5 being “very difficult”) the majority of participants (85%) stated that it
was “very easy” or “easy”. The remaining participants responded that it was “average”.
None felt it was “difficult” or “very difficult”. The authors of ‘Exploring the Facebook
Experience’ also analyzed user experience. Experiences that were selected the most
were curiosity and enjoyment. See Figure 2.C below:

Figure 2.C: Data on epic scale

The second principle is ‘data on an epic scale’. According to Paul Anderson from the
JSIC Tech Watch comprehends this as a fact that huge amount of data is generated and
used. A lot of services convince people to give detailed information about themselves
such as name, address, date of birth, pictures, interests etc. which they then make
publicly available, or use for their own system in order to target advertisement.
Intelligent companies capture process and aggregate the available data and turn it into
strong companies.

Companies that collect most information become the most successful 2.0 businesses.

This online created and aggregated information is labeled as the invisible rain of
information (von Baeyer, 2004) Similar to EBay, Amazon also has made a science of
user engagement. Amazon sells the same products as their competitor
Barnesandnoble.com but still Amazon outpaces competition due to its user leverage.
Amazon has more user reviews, invitations to participate and they “use user activity to
produce better search results.” (O’Reilly, 2005) User Created Content

The third principle of web 2.0 is ‘user generated content’ or ‘user created content’
(UCC). There is no widely accepted definition for the former term but the Organization
for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)* has tried to describe it very
broadly. It describes user created content as content made publicly available over the
Internet, which reflects a certain amount of creative effort, and which is created outside
of professional routines and practices”. Due to today’s consumer market user created
content is easily fabricated. Cheap cameras and software have paved the way for many
to upload their own photos, videos, music and write on blogs. Content is mostly created
by “Digital Natives, which are according to the JSIC young kids that spend more time
creating and surfing the web than watching TV or reading newspapers.

* Excerpt from the OECD: The OECD is a unique forum where the governments of 30 democracies work together to address the
economic, social and environmental challenges of globalization. The OECD is also at the forefront of efforts to understand and to
help governments respond to new developments and concerns, such as corporate governance, the information economy and the
challenges of an ageing population. The organization provides a setting where governments can compare policy experiences, seek
answers to common problems, identify good practice and work to co-ordinate domestic and international policies. (OECD, 2008)

Below in Table 2.A one can read off the percentages of people in America that created
user content. Figure 2.D you clearly shows the percentages of Internet users that create
user content in the EU.

Table 2.A:

Figure 2.D:

One of the very new sets of UCC technologies that already existed in 1.0 but became
extremely popular in the web 2.0 era is blogging. In web 1.0 blogs were created as
online logbooks on which the author could put log entries and if they wished publish
them. Blogs, like log books, are cumulative and each new entry is appended to the
previous ones (usually with the newest ones at the top). (Armstrong & Franklin, 2008).
In its simplest form a blog is an online diary. Web 2.0 blogs offer a variety of
characteristics that are not available in logbooks. Other features are the possibility to
receive blog updates on portable devices so that one can keep up with constantly
upgraded content. People can link their own blogs on other websites and also “via a
mechanism known as trackbacks, they can see when anyone else links to their pages,
and can respond, either with reciprocal links, or by adding comments, this magnifies
their visibility and power.” (Id.) According to Rich Skrenta, creator of the first Apple II
computer virus Elk Cloner, blogging is the “live web”. For O’Reilly, weblogs in the web
2.0 eras turned from ease-of-publishing phenomenon into a conversational mess of
overlapping communities.

Another important aspect of blogging is that most blog systems only allow people to
make posts or to comment on other people's posts if they have logged in. (Armstrong &
Franklin, 2008) One interesting fact of the need to log in is that people may not use their
real name (or even a nick name that they are known by), so that although they have to
log in they can remain anonymous to other users of the system. (Id.) However, this can
also lead to online harassment. Harnessing collective intelligence

The fourth principle of web 2.0 and key feature of sites born in the web 1.0 era but
survived to lead the web 2.0 eras appear to be the fact that they embraced ‘the power of
the web to harness collective intelligence’ or ‘harnessing the power of the crowd’. The
former means that Internet applications make more use of the Internet by enabling the
users to act independently but collectively. Web 2.0 is steered by the idea of ‘ask the
audiences’. JSIC labels this concept as ‘crowd sourcing’ or ‘the rise of the amateur.’
More technically web 2.0 applications harness collective intelligence by hyper linking.
Hyper linking is the foundation of the web. Users add new content and others users can
discover these new contents and link to it. O’Reilly compares it to how synapses are
formed in the brain. According to the author of ‘What is web 2.0?’ associations of
synapses become stronger through repetition or intensity, the web of connections grows
organically as an output of the collective activity of all web users.

Three such impressive examples of harnessing collective intelligence are Yahoo! Google
and EBay. Yahoo is an index of links or an aggregation of the best work of millions of
web users. However, over the years Yahoo! Has entered into the business of various
types of content creation, “its role as a portal to the collective works of the net's users
remains the core of its value.” (O’Reilly, 2005) Google in contrast works with a method
called Page Rank, which uses thee “link structure of the web rather than just the
characteristics of documents to provide better search results”. (Id.) Google’s date is
collected indirectly each time they use a service such as Google or EBay (Anderson
JSIC, 2008) EBay also uses the power of harnessing collective intelligence. Their
products are the collective activity of all its users. For O’Reillly, eBay grows organically
in response to user activity, and the company's role is as an enabler of a context in which
user activity can occur. Architecture of Participation

The fifth principle of web 2.0 or the architecture of participation needs to be understood
as parallel worlds; both worlds are equally as important. An application or service is

developed to facilitate mass participation and the more the service is used the better it
gets. That is one of the major side effects of 2.0 applications. Companies such as EBay,
Amazon, Google and Yahoo are all perfect examples of ‘architecture of participation.

One of the most extreme experiments of user participation online is Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is a tool that enables the collaborative creation of sets of web pages. It is open
to anyone who has interest in some topic and each topic can be given its own web page.
(Armstrong & Franklin, 2008) One of their unique features is that they can record all the
changes that have taken place and see who all contributed to the different topics. In
simple words Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia in which any web user can add and
edit information. “In trust, applying Eric Raymond's dictum (originally coined in the
context of open source software) that "with enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow," to
content creation.” (Id.) This is a revolution in all aspects of content creation.

Another concept of architecture participation is the concept of folksonomy, not to be

confused with taxonomy. Sites such as Flickr have launched the concept of folksonomy.
According to Tonkin in his article “Folksonomies: Tidying up Tags?” “A folksonomy is
a type of distributed classification system which is usually created by a group of
individuals, typically the resource users. Users add tags to online items, such as images,
videos, bookmarks and text. These tags are then shared and sometimes refined.” For
example, a Flickr photo of a cat might be tagged both “kitten” and “cute” which allows
for retrieval along natural axes and user created activity. Underlying technologies

The sixth principle of web 2.0 describes the web as a concept of the “Web as Platform”.
This is software delivered through the browser. There is less emphasis on the software
and more on the service, (Anderson P., JSIC 2008). Delivering software through the
browser has become feasible due to the existence of broadband (Ajax, XML, Flash, Rich
Internet, and Applications (RIA) etc. Firefox with browser plug-ins). An example of a
new generation of web related technology services is Google Docs which runs through
the browser and is a replacement for desktop applications such as Microsoft Office. Network effects and Openness

The seventh principle aspect of web 2.0 is network effects and openness. Network
effects are the fact that we now have over billions of users on the Internet and that most
of them participate in content creation and mass sharing which leads to the new Social
Fabric. The Internet continues the tradition of openness by using new open standards,
open source software licenses, free and re-usage of data. According to Armstrong and
Franklin, authors of ‘A Review of Current and Developing International Practice in the
Use of Social Networking (Web 2.0) in Higher Education’ state that it is “worth noting
that in most cases the user is assigning many of their property rights to the site owner.
Some require content to published under some form of Creative Commons license,
while others seek non-exclusive rights over the content.” Openness leads to more
concerns about issues of privacy, safety, the scale of data being collected and problems
related to copyrighting. Another issue of openness and network effect is that one has to
trust corporate third parties; services disappear quite fast and are in perpetual beta mode
(= continuous improvement of systems following user feedback).

2.1.3 Conclusion

The powerful ideas of web 2.0 will have a long-term impact. Not only on the exact
technical manifestations but the user-created content, data collection, crowd sourcing,
P2P sharing, etc. Web 2.0 is changing businesses, organizations and society in general.
Innovative companies such as Google, Yahoo! EBay, Amazon, social networking sites
and multi-media sharing sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Flickr, etc. have
marked today’s web unchangeably. These sites have become integrated into many
people’s daily practices. There are numerous social network sites in the online world all
catering to diverse audiences. Critics of SNS believed that it would “impoverish the
communication environment.’ (Nie, N.H, 2001) However, this statement is proven
untrue and social networking sites have become a “vital means of interacting,
communicating and sharing, thus enhancing human connectivity and sociability”. (Id.)
Web 2.0 has the advantage that it allows online collaborative activities across country
boundaries. In this setting participation becomes intrinsic. Franklin and Armstrong
define it simply as “an active set of technologies in which people contributes, rather than
passively consuming content (as with television).” Web 2.0 “is inherently social and is
concerned with the co-creation and use of knowledge. The barriers to use web 2.0 are
low and it is a natural extension of the way that many people are already using the web

rather than a completely new departure.” (Id.) Due to its low barriers web 2.0 has been
able to penetrate in nearly every sector, including development aid.

2.2 Development Aid

2.2.1 Introduction

Foreign economic aid is the most important aspect of international relations. Aid can be
a powerful tool for promoting growth and reducing poverty. Nearly all developed
countries, and even a few underdeveloped ones administer and contribute to substantial
aid programs. According to Robert Wood, author of ‘From Marshall Plan to Debt Crisis:
Foreign Aid and Development Choices in the World Economy’ development assistance
or “foreign aid is a name covering many different relations between suppliers and
recipients; foreign aid is a label, and a great deal of political ingenuity has gone into
determining what it does and does not apply to.” Foreign aid is generally divided
between military aid and economic aid, which is mostly used as a synonym with
development aid.

Development aid has become an overlapping concept, as it doesn’t really have a clear
division between foreign aid and emergency relief. However, according to Degnbol-
Martinussen and Engberg- Pedersen, authors of ‘Aid: Understanding International
Development Cooperation’ “the tendency now is towards more integration and
overlapping. Humanitarian assistance includes both areas, and new mixed forms have
emerged where emergency relief is linked to more long-term efforts.”

Development aid or development assistance according to the definition of the

Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD members “refers to financial
flows that qualify as Official Development Assistance (ODA).” (Finn, 2006)

(DAC is the principal body through which the OECD deals with issues related to co- operation with developing
countries. - OECD member countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, turkey, the
united Kingdom and the United States.)

“ODA is de- fined as the sum of grants and loans to aid recipients that are: (a)

undertaken by the official sector of the donor country; (b) with promotion of economic
development and welfare in recipient countries as the main objective; (c) at concessional
financial terms, where the grant element is equal to at least 25 per cent.” (Id.) Author
Robert Wood points out that the DAC excludes all grants loans, and credits for military
purposes from its definition of development assistance. However, he states, “The
distinction between economic and military aid is not at all straightforward. On the one
hand, a donor’s decision to call aid ‘economic’ or ‘military’ is often politically shaped
and bears little relationship to either the donor’s real motivation or the aid’s real
impact.” (Id.) Thus, according to Woods, in reality, “The DAC distinguishes ODA and
‘other official flows’ (OOF). OOF is carrying a grant of less than 25 percent.”

Thus, for Rosenstein, author of ‘International Aid for Underdeveloped countries’, “The
purpose of an international program of aid to underdeveloped countries is to accelerate
their economic development up to a point where a satisfactory rate of growth can be
achieved on a self-sustaining basis.” Development aid is not to immediately raise the
standard of living in recipient countries but “to permit them to make the transition from
economic stagnation to self-sustaining economic growth.” (Id.) In simple words,
“foreign aid is about the development among the poorest people in the world, among the
most marginalized and oppressed peoples and societies.” (Degnbol-Martinussen and
Engberg-Pedersen, 2003)

Table 2.C gives you an overview over how many billions dollar per year is given to
developing countries.

2.2.2 History of development aid

Development aid has its first origins in the United States of America in the nineteenth
century. The first event is illustrated by the 1812 Act for Relief of the Citizens of
Venezuela. (See Table below 2.D) Nonetheless, Development aid was mostly
established after the Second World War in the aftermath of World War II.

One of the first largest development aid initiatives was the Marshall Plan. Or officially
known as the European Recovery Program (ERP) “It was a humanitarian program to aid
Europe’s postwar recovery and extend a helping hand to those in need.” (Gimble, 1976)
To finance the ERP the US transferred some 2-3 per cent of its national income to help
restore Europe. (Finn, 2006) The Marshall Pan, characterized aid by a structure of
“openness to and alliance with foreign capital; import of organizational and production
technologies; monetary, fiscal and trade policies extending the domestic reach of
international market forces; and, despite considerable variation, a general ‘dissociation’
of the ‘entrepreneurial-repressive state… from the nation.” Wood, 1986) Fernando
Cardoso and Enzo Faletto labeled the latter explanation of aid as ‘dependent
development’. (1979) The Marshall Plan distributed over $13 billion between 1948 and
1952 to Western European countries constituted as the Organization for European
Economic Cooperation (OEEC). (Wood, 1986) Above 90 percent of the development
aid dispensed under the Marshall Plan was in the form of grants.

The post war period paved the way for development organizations and grew
dramatically during this period. It increased by 4.2 percent per annum in real terms over
the period 1960-88, to reach nearly US$70 billion by 1988. (White, 1992) Not only did
it clear the road for development organizations to rise but also for the creation of
institutions. For example, Oxfam was first created to Greek refugees and CARE was
originally the Centre for American Relief in Europe. (Id.) “The development w
 ork of the
United Nations (UN) began with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency
UNRRA founded during the war in 1943, and the World Bank.” (Id.) The International
Bank for Reconstruction and Development which is the original name of the World
Bank “began with loans for reconstruction, the first loan to a developing country was
given to Columbia in 1950”. The creation of institutions leads to the rise of multilateral

In the 1970’s multilateral aid was properly developed and the concept of aid via NGO’s
was launched in the eighties. The model of development aid has changed throughout
centuries eventually evolving to a new concept of development aid. Find below a
chronological (Table 2.D) and schematic overview of the history of development aid
(Table 2.E).

Table 2.D: Chronology of foreign aid

Table 2.E: Schematic overview of development aid Historical Intention and Motives of development aid

“The international development cooperation is a process with many actors, each with
their own motives, interests, goals and strategies.” (Degnbol-Martinussen and Engberg-
Pedersen, 2003) Historically aid has served a multitude of objectives such as serving
commercial and political objectives. (Hjertholm and White, 2000) According to the
latter authors an example of the dubious aid intentions of donor countries was when the
Ministry of Agriculture decided to transfer America’s food surplus. The intention behind
this act was to ‘develop new markets’. (Id.) Conversely, “foreign aid philosophy is based

on the idea that the development process is free of conflict and primarily involves
mobilizing sufficient resources and finding the best strategies and solutions.” (Degnbol-
Martinussen and Engberg-Pedersen, 2003) Another example of ambiguous aid intentions
was evident in the early years of UK assistance. “The 1929 Colonial Development Act
allowed for loans and grants for infrastructure, the purpose of which was explicitly seen
as obtaining inputs for British manufacturing.” (Hjertholm and White, 2000) Even the
former colonial powers also have special motives for giving foreign aid to their own
former colonies.

In the 1950’s America accounted for two-thirds of the worlds total aid budget, this
dominance in terms of extending worldwide aid lead to America’s position as
hegemony. While extending aid the USA continued enforcing commercial pressure on
the recipient countries. In the second half of the 20th century the international scene was
dominated by the cold war and development aid was more extended in order to stop
countries from going communist. Hjertholm and White, authors of ‘Survey of Foreign
Aid: History, Trends and allocation’ noted, “Development aid and military aid was
becoming mixed as necessary. McKinlayandLittle reached “a similar conclusion with
regard to American aid in 1960 and 1970, stating that humanitarian concerns were all
but absent in USA aid allocation, this instead being shaped wholly by US self- interest.”
America has even been so mischievous to transfer arms to recipients. Reasons to help
developing countries were never really based on the needs of developing countries.

Hjertholm and White use the example of the DAC which is responsible for monitoring
aid performance but has no developing country as member, not even as observers.
Another example of such is the Special Program of Assistance for Africa (SPA) who has
no African representation. (Id.) The only way for donor recipients to take part in aid
discussions is through ‘Consultative Groups or Round Tables’. Nonetheless,
development aid according to the Marshall Plan was not set up for donor countries to
have a special position over recipients. For Hjertholm and White:

“Donors have not been willing to relinquish control of their aid programs to developing countries although
donors increasingly talk of partnership, and the need for recipient ownership they in fact are reluctant to allow
recipients more than a limited role.
                 
 own
ends; a factor that also helps explain the persistence of bilateral aid despite widely aired arguments in favor of

multilateral institutions. 
 
 
 
 
 

         
  ”

It is more then clear that donor countries have their own objectives and there is an
unequal power relation which can be “the greatest obstacle to economic, social and
political change, and that progress, especially for the resource-weak groups, requires that
these groups be strengthened politically in relation to those in power. “ (Degnbol-
Martinussen and Engberg-Pedersen, 2003)

“Foreign aid has been established as a foreign and commercial policy tool, designed to
achieve a range of political, strategic and economic objectives.” (Collier and Dollar,
1998) The second half of the 20th century foreign aid was dominated by America. At the
same time the rest of the world thought that development aid should be an “equal
sharing of the burden amongst those countries”. (Hjertholm and White, 2000) to the
origins of the “ 
    
    
 
 of
 the  
.” (Id.) In addition to poverty eradication, donors also focused on women and
gender equality. The motives of the donor countries shifted towards moral and
humanitarian principles, political and national security considerations, and economic
and trade considerations and less on self-interested aid. “An early and now classic
formulation of this is found in the so-called Pearson Report of 1969, where the moral
obligation to give foreign aid is stressed, but where it is also stated that development
assistance to poor countries will benefit the rich countries in the long run” (Pearson

The starting point for moral and humanitarian arguments for foreign aid is the idea that a
person who has sufficient means or extreme means has a definite obligation to help
people who are poor and have poor access to resources. (Degnbol-Martinussen and
Engberg-Pedersen, 2003) This similar way of thinking applies to the relationship
between the rich and poor countries. Variations of this way of thinking exists “both in
Christianity and Islam Christianity and Islam, the emphasis can be on foreign aid as a
kind of charity for the poor where the goal is do one’s duty.” (Id.) Closely related to this
principle is that “all human beings have a right to development, which was widely
supported at the World Conference on Human Rights at Vienna in 1993”. (Id.) The past
twenty years, the motives for international development aid arose from wishes to sustain

and improve the global environment; to limit international migration; to stop the flow of
narcotics; to reduce the risk of epidemics such as HIV/AIDS; and to fight terrorism. (Id.)
Moral and humanitarian motives play an essential role in multilateral cooperation.

See below the Main motives for giving development assistance

Figure 2.F:


National Security

Economic Environmental

Moral and humanitarian

2.2.3 Traditional Structures of development aid Multilateral Aid

Ever since the Second World War, the OECD countries have chosen to dispense their
foreign aid through multilateral organizations such as the European Union (EU), World
Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations (UN), and regional
development banks (RDBs). The most important ones are the World Bank, UN and EU.
The European Commission is unique because it plays a dual role. It receives
development funds from EU Member States and channels funds through other
multilateral organizations. (OECD, 2008) According to development aid literature,
multilateral organizations are the preferred aid partners because of two reasons. For the
first reason that they manage to obtain a lot of information about beneficiary countries,
which is a necessity in order to monitor the recipient. The second argument is that “the

interaction of multilateral organizations with recipient countries is less politicized that
that between donor countries.” (Gilles & Yontcheva, 2006) The latter authors noted that
multilateral aid organizations are less attached to any country’s foreign policy goals and
more humanitarian in orientation. (Id.) Therefore aid is much more likely for aid to go to
developing countries on the basis of need, and of where it has the most potential for
good. (AidWatch)

Governments are willing to give up managing foreign aid themselves when the citizens
are hostile towards aid. Through the use of multilateral aid, governments issue a
credible signal to their citizens about the use of international aid. According to Gilles
and Yontcheva authors of ‘Does NGO Aid Go to the Poor?’ This way they show the
public that they are going to conduct development aid for more humanitarian purposes
and less political or commercial ones. This signal governments send “is credible because
the donor government cannot control the multilateral organization (completely) and
because the organization has a reputation for more needs-based aid giving.” (Id.) In
many OECD countries, citizens have more confidence in international organizations
than their own governments. For example, “in Italy, domestic corruption is perceived to
be widespread, while the EU, is perceived to be much cleaner”. (Id.) In general, Gilles
and Yontcheva believe “international organizations are seen very favorably and are
often preferred as a means of foreign policy to purely domestic institutions.” Thus
multilateral aid organizations are viewed as better aid providers than their own
government. Whenever voters aren’t as hostile to development aid, governments will
most likely shift towards managing aid themselves.

According to the OECD, DAC member countries engage with multilateral institutions
for many reasons. “These include the ability of multilaterals to provide economies of
scale, access to know-how, ensure political neutrality, provide public goods, and reduce
burdens on donors and partner countries.” (OECD, 2008) AidWatch believes there is a
tendency for rich countries to give more money to multilateral development banks such
as the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) because voting is
weighted and so member states can have more influence over where the aid money goes.
Member states do not have as much influence when they contribute to United Nations
agencies because voting is equal and less of the money is returned to the donor
countries. Next to this, multilateral aid arrangements develop a sense of collaboration

among countries with the supplementary advantage of reducing conflict. Problems such
as poverty, disease and conflict through multilateral efforts suggest that they are “world
problems” and not exclusively the problems of a recipient country and an interested
donor nation. (Aid watch) Multilateral approaches to solving problems expand a sense
of goodwill. They focus on fragile states, direct a small share to education and
humanitarian aid. In general, multilaterals main goal is to reduce poverty.

Nevertheless, multilateral aid has been criticized for being undemocratic, overly
bureaucratic in their organization and the fact that they only fund large development
projects where sometimes-smaller projects are more appropriate. The development
banks in particular have been criticized for imposing conditionality’s upon recipient
countries. Still statistics show that “multilateral organizations direct nearly two-thirds of
their aid to sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Central Asia. Multilaterals direct two-
thirds of their aid to least developed and other low-income countries. “ (AidWatch)

“For DAC Purposes, aid contributions qualify as multilateral assistance only if they are
made to an international institution whose members are governments and which
conducts all or a significant part of its activities in favor of development; and those
contributions are pooled with other amounts received so that they lose their identity and
become an integral part of the institution’s financial assets.” (AidWatch) Any
development assistance that doesn’t fulfill the above criteria qualifies as bilateral

Find below a few tables and figures that represent multilateral aid globally.

Table 2.F: shows the total amount of multilateral aid disbursements.

Table 2.F: Multilateral aid disbursements

Figure 2.G: Rank of Countries by Multilateral % of Aid Commitments, 1967

Figure 2.H: Multilateral ODA disbursements by DAC member countries 2004-06

Figure 2.I: DAC member countries’ multilateral ODA (core contributions) to major
agencies 1987-2000

Figure 2.J: Organigram of multilateral aid

Figure 2.K: Number of multilateral agencies per country 2005-06

Figure 2.L: Number of multilateral agencies collectively contributing less than 10% of
a country’s aid 2005-06

Excerpt from the OECD, 2008: Over the last two decades multilateral ODA has risen by nearly 50% in real terms,
from USD 19.1 billion in 1987 to USD 28.2 billion in 2006 (at 2006 prices and exchange rates). The proportion of
ODA channeled through multilaterals was relatively stable in this period, ranging from 27% to 32% net of debt
relief. However, the proportion of aid from DAC member countries channeled through the multilateral system varied
widely. For example, in 2004-06 Italy channeled 72% of ODA through the multilaterals and the United States 12%.
The three multilateral organizations that receive the most core contributions from donors are the European
Commission (EC) accounting for 36%, the World Bank accounting for 24% and the United Nations system
accounting for 20%. Bilateral Aid

Bilateral foreign is an inter-state affair, that is, aid from a government in the North to a
government in the South. (Thorbecke & Adelman, 2000 in Degnbol-Martinussen and
Engberg-Pedersen, 2003) According to Arvin, author of New Perspectives on Foreign
Aid and Economic Development “Bilateral assistance refers to disbursements made by
the donor to the recipient state without having it pass through an intermediating
multilateral institution such as the World Bank or a regional development bank.”
Bilateral aid is aid that is immediately reaching its destination and can begin working for
the recipient government. For the DAC, “any ODA that includes non-core/multi-bi
assistance (i.e. voluntary contributions from donors to a multilateral agency
supplementary to core membership contributions) earmarked for specific purposes,
whether to a specific partner country, region, sector or theme is classified in DAC

statistics as bilateral aid because the bilateral donor effectively controls or directs the use
of funds.” (OECD, 2008)

About two-thirds of ODA is bilateral. Six of the most important groups of bilateral
donors are: USA, Japan, France, Germany and Great Britain. Small like-minded bilateral
donors are Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Holland and to some degree Canada. Degnbol-
Martinussen and Engberg-Pedersen noted in their book Aid, “large countries such as the
USA and the former colonial powers have always given most of their aid bilaterally,
primarily for political and commercial reasons while small countries, such as the Nordic
countries, have started with multilateral aid and gradually developed considerable
bilateral aid programs.” Bilateral aid has often been the most active area of government-
to-government contact. (Jones, 1977)

One of the major criticisms of bilateral aid is that it is based mostly upon self-interest.
Donor governments impose harsh political and economic restrictions on the recipient
countries. An example of such is when the United States gave Pakistan economic and
military aid despite years of sanctions in the past. In return, the aid money must be spent
on American goods or services. Not only does America provide aid to its strategic
powers but also colonial powers are guilty of such acts. During the Cold War, America
distributed aid to prevent countries from becoming communist and now bilateral aid is
given to countries to prevent them from entering the war on terror. After the Cold War,
most bilateral donors added new development goals in relation to the political situation
in recipient countries. Another example of the self-interested reasoning behind bilateral
aid is that North governments can use direct aid to boost their image by providing aid to
countries in the South that have negative attitudes towards that specific North
government. Bilateral aid arrangements are “often short-term and subject to change at
short notice as a result of political or economic shifts in the donor country.” (Gilles and
Yontcheva, 2006) The previous authors stated “Balogh noted almost 40 years ago,
“bilateral aid was often based on irrelevant criteria aimed at political ends, subject to
changes and interruptions from budget to budget, and thus unsatisfactory for mitigating
inequality in the world.... (There was also a) tendency for bilateral aid to be tied to
grandiose projects when an equal or greater need was for general aid to overall programs
of development” (1967). However every country has its own motivation to donate in
bilateral terms. According to Gilles and Yontcheva from the IMF institute, the US and

France are usually pursuing their foreign policy goals, Japan pursues its economic
interests and Sweden is more attuned to recipient needs.

Find below for review of bilateral aid; figure 2.M, a graph of the allocation of bilateral
aid between 1970-93. Figure 2.N shows an overview of bilateral and multilateral aid
given by DAC members between 1987 and 2006.

Figure 2.M: Allocation of bilateral aid, 1970-93

Figure 2.N: Gross ODA by DAC member countries 1987-2006

43 Aid via development aid NGO’s

A third structure of development aid is the NGO’s. NGO’s are often referred to as third
sector organizations, or in Belgium third pillars ‘(derde pijlers)’. Some also label NGO’s
organizations Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), charities, etc. NGO’s were created
around the 1960’s. They channel a large share of development assistance. Proponents of
development aid NGO’s claim that they represent the voices of the poor and care about
the most vulnerable populations. They allocate according to the needs of the
beneficiaries. Motives of the NGO’s are mostly of the moral and humanitarian kind. In
general, extremely motivated people who deeply believe in certain ideas found NGO’s.
These organizations are financed by funds collected from the public, interests group and
by a share of state foreign aid funds.

According to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the

comparative advantages of NGO’s are as followed: “They have local accountability,
they conduct an independent assessment of issues and problems, they have strong
expertise and advise, they can reach important constituencies, they conduct awareness
raising and provide and disseminate information. (Chege, 1999) According to the
UNIDO paper, the strength of NGOs lies in their “proximity to their members or clients,
their flexibility and the high degree of people's involvement and participation in their
activities, which leads to strong commitments, appropriateness of solutions and high
acceptance of decisions implemented.”

NGO’s have become quite prominent in the field of international development during
the past twenty years. Anup Shah, author of ‘Non-governmental Organizations on
Development’, paraphrases Richard Robbins reasons why NGO’s have become
increasingly important in the past decade or so. Robins in his book, ‘Global Problems
and the Culture of Capitalism’, begins with the fact that the end of the Cold War made it
easier for NGO’s to operate. Secondly, IT revolutions have also contributed to the
increased attention of NGO’s. Thirdly, New communication advances “have helped
create new global communities and bonds between like-minded people across state
boundaries”. (Robbins, 2002) Fourthly, The expanding media has made more people
aware about the global problems and people expect governments to take action. Fifth
and last reason, NGO’s have increased recourses, growing professionalism and have

provided more employment opportunities. More important, Robbins suggests, “Is that
some believe NGOs have developed as part of a larger, neoliberal economic and
political agenda. Shifts in economic and political ideology have lent to increasing
support of NGOs from governments and official aid agencies in response.” (Shah, 2005)
In 1996 it was estimated that seven billion dollars was channeled through NGO’s, rather
than governments. (Chege, 1999) According to Sam Chege, author of ‘, today, NGO’s in
Africa manage nearly $3.5 billion in external aid, compared to under $1 billion in 1990.

NGO’s mostly tackle issues that governments aren’t willing to take up. They literally
bypass governments. Hence, NGO’s are continuously growing. The United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees, “has some 400-500 NGO partners and in 1997
provided $272 million in funding through 443 NGO’s in 131 countries.” Virtually every
UN agency works with NGO’s. (Id.) Governments are attempting to control NGO’s with
policies such as matching grants, tax deductions, and tying grants to past performance. Private Initiatives (PI’s)

According to its definition, PI’s is a common name for all development aid activities
that take place but do not belong in the first three structures of traditional development
aid. (4de pijler) There is not a lot of academic literature available on private aid
initiatives as it is a recent phenomenon in development aid practices. Private aid
initiatives practices vary from country to country. In Belgium, there is an organization
that combines all private initiatives which is called ‘4depijler organisatie’ or fourth pillar
organization. The Flemish Minister President Kris Peeters launched the fourth pillar
organization on December 2008. In Wallonia there is a similar fourth pillar organization,
which is called ‘Cellule d’Appui pour la Solidarite Internationale Wallonne’ (CASIW).
In the Netherlands there are over 6000 initiatives and grouped on one platform, namely

PI’s are easily described with an example. The fourth pillar website of the Flemish
development aid organization uses the example of Eva, Sophie and Jan, who travel to
India and visit an orphanage. After visiting the orphanage they decide they would like to
support the orphanage in the future. Upon returning to Belgium they put everything in
action to do so. Another example on their site is that of Frederik and Roos who decide to

build a well in Mali with the support of their own company. However, one can claim
that these initiatives have existed already many years through missionary works. But
recent research has proven there is a new fresh wave of private projects. These new PI’s
are becoming much more organized and effective and receive increased attention from
governments. In this pillar, development effects are concrete.

According to the research of the HIVA (Higher Institute for Labor at the Catholic
University of Leuven) in Flanders, it estimated to exist more than 1100 active PI’s.
30.000 tot 60.000 Flemish individuals participate in these initiatives to help develop the
South. On a yearly basis about 47 to 68 million Euros is collected to support these types
of projects. The HIVA claims that development aid is becoming a societal phenomenon.
Development aid is becoming less and less a task for governments, NGO’s and
international organizations but more and more civilians, schools and companies want to
change the situation in the South.

2.2.5 Conclusion

International development cooperation is based on the belief that outside interventions

of governments are necessary in order to promote development in the poorest regions.
However, when reading the history of development aid it becomes clear that the various
aid strategies throughout the centuries are focused on the Western world, and not at
advancing the interests of the developing world. Donors have tended to dominate the aid
scene through multilateral and bilateral aid. Multilateral aid is given through
international agencies and aid given directly is bilateral. The motives for channeling aid
through multilateral agencies such as the EU and development banks are mixed but still
contain elements of donor’s countries own national interests. Nevertheless it is still
much harder for donors to exercise direct influence when using multilaterals.
Development aid assistance is calculated and based on various definitions that have been
agreed upon and respected by the DAC countries. Most important types of intervention
are development assistance and emergency relief, state and voluntary aid, financial,
technical and commodity assistance, assistance in the form of grants and loans; bilateral
and multilateral aid, and program and project aid.

It was expected that throughout the 90’s that aid donations would increase. However,
due to the end of the cold war, countries that were once donating had become recipient
countries and less money was available. Therefore, new ways of development
cooperation had to be created. In the 1980’s many NGO’s came into existence. Public
donations, companies, and individuals fund these NGO’s and a smaller portion
subsidized by the government. Another more recent phenomena are the private
initiatives that are funded by people and directly executed. NGO’s have become major
players in the development aid scene and nearly every UN agency works with an NGO.
One cannot underestimate the power of these private initiatives as most of their work has
been extremely successful and they are drawing more attention too them. It is slowly
becoming the new way of how development aid should be executed. Find below; figure
2.0 a total overview of the financial aid flow around the world.

Figure 2.O: Map of how millions of financial aid dollars flow around the world.
Includes the top twenty recipients and top five donors.

2.3 Development Aid 2.0

2.3.1 Introduction

Development aid throughout the years has been extremely criticized. Some accuse
donor, recipient countries, NGO’s and international organizations of corruption. In Sub-
Saharan Africa, 84% of opinion makers agreed with the statement that, “Because of
corruption, foreign assistance to developing countries is mostly wasted.” (Finn, 2009
“Since 1990 traditional, project based and taxpayer financed development cooperation
as been under threat of being dismantled as a result of the changed political world order,
problems of efficiency, decreasing support, and new attitudes towards the position of
foreign aid in relation to cooperation between partners in North and South.” (Degnbol-
Martinussen and Engberg-Pedersen, 2003) The Pearson Report (1969) has described
foreign aid in 1969 as a moral obligation of rich states. One of the most notorious critics
of the moral obligation model to foreign aid is Peter Bauer. His basic view is that neither
individuals nor states have any moral obligation at all to help others. Mr. Bauer believes
that “only if wealth is accumulated in an unjust way can a moral demand be made for
redistribution.” But this is not the case in relation to the global distribution of wealth.
(Schleifer, 2009) Therefore, he asserts that the rich countries should in no way be
responsible for poverty in developing countries. (Id.) Bauer states that “the differences
in living standard and access to resources arise from the differences in what countries
and populations have earned as a result of their own efforts and those of their forebears.
If individuals wish to change this by giving up part of their well-earned property, there is
nothing to prevent it, but no one is obligated to do this.” (Id.) Thus states should not use
taxes to support foreign aid, they have no right to do so unless the people have given
their consent to do so. The opponent of development aid also “rejects any notion of
giving foreign aid to the poor on the basis of the argument that it is their right as human
beings to be able to satisfy their basic needs. No one has a right to more than he deserves
and earns by lawful means.” (Id.)

Many people have come to share the same thoughts as Peter Bauer and due incidents
such as the financial crises, citizens have become more skeptical about how and what
development aid is executed. Such anti-development movements are threatening world
order as at the same time while the need for foreign aid in many countries has become

greater than ever before. The current financial crisis showed us once again how the
world is totally interconnected. Whatever happens in the South can lead to consequences
in the North and vice versa. Topics such as migration and climate change and terrorism
are borderless. Therefore, we should not shut our eyes to the extreme poverty in the
South. The financial crisis is giving the world an opportunity to review international

Cooperation between rich and poor countries needs to acquire a new meaning for both
parties. This applies to both bilateral and multilateral cooperation, and NGO’s in both
North and South. Thus, according to Gilles and Yontcheva “it is important to think
through how foreign aid can be improved at a time when this form of international
cooperation is under economic and political pressure.” The question is “Should
development cooperation continue as it has been, or is there need for decisive changes?
Power relations are such that donor actors in practice have the greatest influence in
planning foreign aid- even though in recent years there has been much talk about
partnership.” (Id.) Donor organizations need to recognize that there is an enormous
diversity between recipient countries. Recipient countries need to become active
members of establishing development aid models so that donors can better understand
their motives, interests and development goals and strategies.

There is a worldwide plea for a new way of conducting development aid. Mike Brantjes
founder of ‘Worknets’ and the ‘Dutch Minister of Development Aid, Koenders labeled
this new way of development aid as ‘development aid 2.0’ on Monday, the 17th
November 2008.

2.3.2 Development aid 2.0 explained

On April 1st, 2010 I interviewed, Femke Hulsenbek from Pifworld which is a web 2.0
development organization and asked what development aid 2.0 meant; I received the
following answer: “It is a new stream, a new way of thinking. It stresses both sides of
development corporate both sides. The traditional development aid programs and
structures work from top down and develop programs with beneficiary countries.
Development aid 2.0 is interactivity it enables both sides: the beneficiary and the donor
countries to work together and try to work from bottom up. Development aid 2.0 enables

two parties to work together and see what is needed. For example, don’t give them a
tomato but teach them how to grow crops.” In simple words, Development aid 2.0 is
working based on demand instead as in traditional development aid supply driven.
People are more and more critical about development aid in general. Development aid
according to Mrs. Huslenbek “is no longer only about the poor people. It’s about
empowerment. People know more about foreign countries (Africa) and helping the poor
because of the Internet (the distance has become much shorter). There is much more

Development aid 2.0 just as web 2.0 stands for massive collaboration, self-organization,
open source marketing, collective intelligence and crowd sourcing. In these ‘web 2.0
characteristics’ the aspect of the human being is central. These characteristics are also
becoming part of the real world. In development aid 2.0 there is no leader, everyone is a
leader. Projects are steered through participation or harnessing collective intelligence in
the same way web 2.0 harnesses intelligence to make their software run. Unknown
people are organizing festivals using web 2.0, others are becoming shareholders of their
favorite band so that they can enter a record studio without having to be dependent on
large record labels (sellaband.com). These are examples of collaboration that go a step
further than Wikipedia, people are controlling the process instead of the process being
directed from above. According to the ‘oneprocentclub’, another ‘web 2.0 development
organization’, the main question is if we can write an encyclopedia together? Can we not
solve global poverty together? Solving poverty is a very complex matter. Half of the
world’s population lives on $1 dollar a day and one billion people do not have access to
potable water. It is impossible to tackle the world’s poverty situation with one large
plan. One plan cannot guarantee to improve the economy in developing countries,
stabilize the political situation, increase the level of education, build a health sector,
provide food safety and battle environmental changes. By the time the development plan
has been written out, the world has changed again. Therefore in development aid 2.0 the
plan is no longer important but the people are.

Development 2.0 is a new way of working. Recipient countries no longer want to follow
the strategy of ‘show me’ but of ‘follow me’. Development aid 2.0 works from bottom
up instead of top down. Trust is essential as through trust, collaboration can begin. In
order to enhance participation investments need to be made in structures. So that

knowledge and information is available to everyone. Development aid in 2.0 is no
longer linear and aid needs to adapt to its specific situation. Therefore, there needs to be
a large variety of solutions to the many different kind of aid problems. Find below a
summary of the characteristics of development aid 1.0 and development aid 2.0.

Table 2.G: Characteristics of development aid 1.0 and development 2.0

Development Aid 1.0 Development Aid 2.0

Supply driven Demand driven
Planners Researches
Institutions People
Top Down Bottom up
1 on many Many on Many
Aid Cooperation
Victim Own responsibility
Programs Massive Collaboration
Structured Unstructured
Responsibility Open Source
Big Small
Control Trust

2.3.3 Web 2.0 as a tool for development aid

The mission of using web 2.0 as a development tool is to ‘give people the power to share
and make the world more open and connected. Worldwide there are 300 million users of
which 95 million Active Users in Europe. (See figure 2.P below)

Figure 2.P: Web 2.0 in Europe

51 Social networks and multimedia sites as a tool for development aid

On Facebook an organization can create three ways to dialogue about their organization.
Organizations can do this by first adding themselves on Facebook, then by driving the
conversation, promoting the ads and fully use the applications in a fun and useful way. It
is important that organizations provide interesting content so that people continue to stay
Graphically it looks like the table figure 2.Q below.

An example of governmental development organization that promoted itself through
Facebook is UKAid. They use it mainly for building awareness and communicating
around development activities steered by UKAid. More than 1500 people are fan, they
upload their page every day, they receive open applications for volunteers via Facebook
and receive feedback. See figure 2.R below:

Other organizations that have mobilized online are the millennium campaign to end
poverty in 2015. The millennium campaign to end poverty by 2015 is outlined by the

(millennium development goals) MDG’s. The first goal is to eradicate extreme poverty
and hunger. The second goal is to achieve universal primary education. The third goal is
to promote gender equality and empower women. The fourth goal is to reduce child
mortality. The fifth goal is to improve maternal health. The sixth goal is to combat
HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. The seventh goal is to ensure environmental
sustainability. The last and eight goal is to develop a global partnership for development.
The aim is that by 2015, these goals are reached. End poverty 2015 calls for people to
stand up take action and also mobilize online in order to reach these goals. In order for
aid organizations to increase mobilization, they have to promote their cause on social
networks and need to have a clearly identified social media strategy in place.

Table 2.H predicts the poverty rates by region in 2015.

Table 2.H:

Social networks as a tool for development aid has recently been used in the case of
Haiti. Social networks helped to provide information about the earthquake and finding

causalities. After the earthquake in Haiti, NGO’s, governments, companies, and
residents used Google, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube to disperse information. Google
announced during the Chili earthquake the adaptation of the people finder application in
order to locate the victims of the natural disaster. Google also simplifies the process to
donate money to Unicef and Direct Relief International. The largest search engine also
inserted links on their webpage to different applications such as YouTube of Maps to
follow the catastrophe live. The past natural disasters in Haiti and Chili have proven the
power of Twitter as an online communication instrument. Via twitter donations were
given to the Red Cross of Chili. On Facebook, support pages were set up with pictures
and other information that took place. A quick look at YouTube shows that people have
uploaded live videos of when the earthquake took place. In general social and
multimedia sites are used to disperse real time information.

Other examples of development organizations using web 2.0 are the newly established
commercial development initiatives fully based on web 2.0 technology. An example of
such is pifworld. Pifworld facilitates projects of NGO’s and private initiatives of all
different themes. Pifworld stands for ‘play it forward’. Playing it forward is the basic
principle that makes the pif-world go round. When you find and support a project you
really care about, you can invite your friends to do the same. When you enter the
website of pifworld, you see a globe with 35 spots (projects). When you click on one of
the items, a passport pops up and a movie. Each project has a budget. Due to project
applications donors can see what exactly is going on with the funds. Another example of
organizations using web 2.0 is a project called ‘My Netlog, Your Netlog, Our Rights’
(Annex A.). This is a project that wants to raise awareness via Netlog about children
rights for themselves and peers in the South.

2.4 Conclusion

Development aid 2.0 is a new way of thinking. Development cooperation is being

executed from bottom up instead of top down. Just as in web 2.0, participation is key. In
order for everyone to be able to participate information needs to become widely
available and development needs to become structured. Traditional aid Organizations
have to incorporate web 2.0 in their structures in order to keep up.

Development aid 2.0 has been growing within organizations the last five years. Yet, it is
relatively small. Most of the time traditional organizations are not fast moving. Private
organizations that are not part of the traditional development corporation structure can
work much faster. These organizations are working for a better world via web 2.0 of
which pifworld is the leading example. These companies can actually be labeled as the
fifth pillar of development aid. These ‘web 2.0 development companies’ can even
directly help reach the UN MDG by promoting MDG projects on their website. For
example Kieva, the successful micro-financing platform, contributes directly to MDG 1
because of direct contribution to small entrepreneurs. With micro-aid small business
owners can manage to stay out of poverty.

Web 2.0 is a relatively new concept for which the social effects are yet unknown.
Therefore it is interesting to analyze this new communication tool and its role in any

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