Aid Performance and Climate Change

Aid Performance and Climate Change, by Julian Caldecott (Routledge/Earthscan, 2017)

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The aim.  I know that promoting equitable and sustainable conditions for human and all other life on Earth is a tall order, but it doesn’t help that US$165 billion a year of aid money is being spent less effectively than it could be.  In this book I propose two targets (and explain how to meet them) for the aid profession over the next 15 years: (a) to raise the performance of the world’s aid portfolio, using the eight core criteria that I describe, from an average score of 3.5/7 (‘weak/moderate’) to 5.5/7 (‘strong/very strong’); and (b) to raise the share of aid in which climate change is actively considered as a threat and target, in terms of mitigation, adaptation, biodiversity, and desertification, at all stages of the project cycle, to 100%.

 

The book.  Efforts to keep human development going that are funded by overseas aid are undermined by climate change, water-catchment damage, biodiversity loss, and desertification, and their interactions with social systems at all scales, which few aid designs or evaluations fully address.  This must change if aid performance is to be improved. Constraints to be overcome include limited understanding of the very complex systems that aid investments affect, and of the ecology behind climate change adaptation and mitigation. Aid Performance and Climate Change targets these problems and others, by explaining how to use multiple points of view to describe each aid investment as a complex system in its own unique context.  With examples throughout, it reviews cases, ideas, and options for mitigation using technology and ecology, and for adaptation by preserving resilience and diversity, while exploring related priorities, treaties, and opportunities.  Combining an empirical, eye-witness approach with methodological conclusions, this book is an essential resource for those looking to improve aid design and evaluation, and will be a necessary tool in training the next generation of aid professionals to respond to the causes and consequences of climate change.

 

The author.  With a background in wildlife management and rainforest conservation, since 2000 Julian Caldecott has evaluated major aid investment programmes for the EC, UK, Norway, Finland, and Switzerland, five donors that together contribute more than a quarter of all official aid. His work focuses on design and performance issues concerning climate change, biodiversity, ecosystem management, and related matters of sustainability and institutional and community development.