Over the past 15 years, country ownership has become one of the central tenets of the aid effectiveness agenda and a part of every development worker’s vocabulary. Yet, we have never adequately reconciled the concept of ownership with the need for a country to be accountable for its policies, including controlling patronage and corruption.
This is partly because both donors and their development partners are willing to treat development partnerships and activities as technical interventions insulated from local politics rather than explicitly recognizing that the allocation of scarce resources, including foreign aid, is inherently political.The concept of country ownership is too often invoked to protect the status quo... Click To Tweet
This tendency has resulted in country ownership being defined in a narrow, unidirectional manner that makes confronting the binding policy constraints to economic and social progress much more difficult. In these circumstances, the concept of country ownership is too often invoked to protect the status quo instead of advancing sustainable development.
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Country Ownership has never meant that a country is solely responsible for setting its own priorities, or being allowed to refuse confronting poor governance, outdated and ineffective policies or the role of corruption in hampering its development.