Breaking the Taboo: Perspectives of African Civil Society on Innovative Sources of Financing Development

The debate on Financing for Development was given a crucial push at the 2002 Financing for Development Conference held in Monterrey, Mexico. Heads of State and Governments 'resolved to address the challenges of Financing for Development around the world and particularly in developing countries'.The Monterrey Consensus encompassed a significant variety of financing for development-related issues that are of concern to civil society, such as debt relief and financial crises, the Official Development Assistance (ODA), foreign direct investment and the relationship between trade and investment.

Civil society involvement in Finance for Development

The Financing for Development process involves the UN and major multilateral economic bodies such as the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank. Importantly it is open to engagement with civil society organisations and the private sector. The Financing for Development process has an extensive agenda that provides an opportunity for engagement and mobilisation of civil society groups. Thus far, civil society organisations (CSO) have collaborated in a limited fashion on several substantive projects from several UN divisions.

Breaking the Taboo outlines perspectives of African civil society on innovative sources of financing development. Breaking the Taboo provides a snapshot of the origins of the innovative financing for development process, outlines the economic context, explores in greater depth some of innovative financing mechanisms and includes a civil society statement of conclusions reached by civil society organisations at a consultation held in Dakar, Senegal, in April 2008, on Financing for Development issues.

Breaking the Taboo was informed by a civil society background paper on Innovative Financing, and by papers prepared by civil society researchers. It draws on the perspectives, experience and analysis of civil society organisations that were present at the consultation and makes recommendations for civil society action in the run-up to the Doha Conference in November 2008.

Copies of Breaking the Taboo are available from the Commonwealth Foundation and can be downloaded here.