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Date: 2022-05-20 Page is: DBtxt001.php bk005P0000
Burgess Manuscript
Hundreds of Issues
From the book 'Hundreds of Issues that Impact Relief and Development'
Section PPP

Issue
PRSP
Basic observation
Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)
Prevailing response
A creation of the World Bank to clarify government policy regarding poverty. Good for consultants but a clumsy way of going about getting better government and governance.
A better response
Instead of ad hoc PRSP consultancies, the relief and development sector needs a lot more management information that is integrated with the operations of government and the institutional framework for decision making.

Issue
PWYP
Basic observation
Publish What You Pay (PWYP) is a private initiative to pressure on corporate organizations in the extractive industry to make public what they pay in any country.
Prevailing response
The PWYP organization has recognized a serious problem and is taking steps to put pressure on industry. The PWYP initiative has recognized a serious problem, but the solution being proposed is not adequate to the situation.
A better response
The techniques of reporting called for by PWYP are not going to be accepted by all industry organizations in the sector, and participants will be at a disadvantage. The demand for transparency and accountability needs to come from communities where the industry value chains are creating unacceptable value destruction, and it is the public that needs to play a big role in putting pressure on the industry as a whole.

Issue
Partnership
Basic observation
Partnership is an old idea and useful as a form of teamwork.
Prevailing response
Some ideas of partnership that had professional value, as in the old partnerships of the professional firms in the accountancy and legal profession have been overtaken by new forms of organization where some of the form is retained with very little of the substance.
A better response
The facade of partnership in some areas needs to be replaced by an organizational form that really reflects what is going on. In other areas the idea of partnership and teamwork needs to be expanded and structured so that there are tangible organizations that can work in an organized way to accomplish important activities. The relatively recent public – private partnerships that are reinvigorating areas in the urban centers of cities in the USA are an example.

Issue
Peace
Basic observation
Peace is a lot more than the lack of war ... it is a state where consensus and agreement and progress are coexisting.
Prevailing response
The art of war has been researched and massive investments have been made in technology to wage war. Peace has been achieved, as in the cold war, through the idea of massive military capability that would deter war and thus deliver peace. Peace-building is broadly thought of as the removal of the assets and organizations of war.
A better response
Peace needs to have investment so that war can not from any perspective be considered to be a better way. Progress needs to be achieved without anyone feeling that war is needed to ensure that there is equity and justice. A continuum is needed so that the world can progress towards more wealth and more justice. A large part of a successful peace maintenance activity has to be effective management information so that people can see what is fair and right.

Issue
People
Basic observation
People are the biggest single economic asset on the planet.
Prevailing response
The role of people in economic progress and the success of society has not been fully recognized. Democracy is not about government processes that can be embraced by the people, and elections where people vote, but is much more. It is the process that is needed so that people can govern themselves, and this does not start at a central national government level, but in communities.
A better response
People have always organized, and have done so as communities. People have always figured out ways to get things done and to get some level of fairness and equity into the community. To get good results for people, then good results for communities where people live is a solid start. Management information at the community level can show progress and performance that impacts people.

Issue
Performance
Basic observation
Performance is both absolute and relative.
Prevailing response
Actual performance and results delivered has been almost totally ignored in the allocation, management and control of relief and development resources. Proposals and projections are a big part of the project cycle, and the measurement of performance has little role in RDS.
A better response
Performance can be measured in many ways. A starting point is the idea of getting a good relationship between costs incurred and results achieved. Results achieved need to be expressed as value. But performance should go further ... achieving 100% of what is possible in a tough situation is different from the same absolute results, but representing only 20% of what is possible in an easier situation. Value has many dimensions, and value can change for better or worse over time. Similarly cost has variability that needs understanding ... the best cost is not always the lowest cost as for example when a higher cost item is available and the low cost item is not.

Issue
Phantom Aid
Basic observation
A low proportion of aid resources reaches needy beneficiaries. The substantial amount of aid money that does not reach the needy has been labeled “phantom aid” by some concerned NGOs.
Prevailing response
There is a dialog about fund flows and use of “north” consultants and expenses that make life comfortable but do not help development. Change is not a priority. Maintaining the status quo is the “north” goal.
A better response
Measuring relief and development fund flows at all levels using value chain methodology will show clearly where resources originate and what they are used for. Good management systems at community level will improve understanding of development performance and highlight how little resource money every reached communities where needy beneficiaries are located.

Issue
Philanthropy
Basic observation
Philanthropy is an important component of the resources that are available for the relief and development sector.
Prevailing response
Philanthropy is a source of resource for relief and development, but the management and decision making that is used results in a quite dysfunctional resultant performance. There are examples of excellence, but mostly resources are used ineffectively and the durable results are small.
A better response
The value realized from philanthropic funding for relief and development activities can be improved immensely by the implementation of a universal management information system about relief and development sector performance. Good information can improve allocation of resources and end up getting a very much improved performance in the RDS


Issue
Polarization
Basic observation
Polarization is one of the ways in which relief and development success is constrained. Instead of polarization there needs to be agreement and consensus.
Prevailing response
Far too little effort is being spent on helping to stop polarization so that polarization does not lead to something even worse.
A better response
Understanding how polarization comes about is a start ... but work needs to be done so that there is consensus and steps taken to implement conflict resolution and help in every way to keep peace and have progress.

Issue
Politics
Basic observation
Politics is a normal part of a free society, but it is not an arena for wimps.
Prevailing response
Politics seems to have taken on a very big role in relief and development, and is often a high priority for reform. Sadly politics is rarely a direct way to improve economic performance, though it can easily serve to disrupt economic performance.
A better response
All politics is local is an accepted idea in many parts of the “:north”, but the idea is rarely extended into “south” politics, where power and politics have been concentrated and centralized to the detriment of local communities and their populations.

Issue
Pollution
Basic observation
Pollution has been accepted as a reasonable by-product of industrial activity.
Prevailing response
The industrial revolution turned green fields and pristine rivers into deeply polluted areas toxic to animals, fish and even humans. But in the “north” laws and regulations now require industry to operate with little pollution and to clean up the mess.
A better response
Sadly, the low pollution and clean up standards are not universal, and much of the global industrial world is still polluting and doing environmental damage. The cost of environmental damage needs to be better understood and taken into consideration when planning and making development investments.

Issue
Ports (seaports)
Basic observation
Ports are a critical part of infrastructure, arguably as important today in the global economy as at any time in history.
Prevailing response
There are a few ports that have been modernized and made world class, with many that do not reach these very high standards of performance. Poor countries have ports that hold them back and are inadequate for high productivity low cost trade.
A better response
Getting infrastructure upgraded is a capital intensive process, and rarely funded adequately in relief and development sector programs. The corporate sector has seen fit to invest heavily in high performance modern ports where they see trade as an economic driver for the country and as a profit driver for the companies.

Issue
Potable water
Basic observation
Potable water is basic to human survival.
Prevailing response
The idea that perhaps 2 billion people in the world do not have clean potable water is a symptom of total failure of the relief and development sector and the institutions that have a governance responsibility. A deficit in potable water is inexcusable.
A better response
Community centric relief and development metrics would help enormously to identify not only the broad scope of the problem but some of the specifics community by community. In some cases water can be made available quite quickly and at low cost. In other cases more investment is needed. But the cost of not having healthy water is far higher than it would cost to make good relief and development investments in water systems

Issue
Poverty
Basic observation
Poverty is a result of a lot of factors, and a symptom of relief and development failure rather than being the cause of the failure.
Prevailing response
The relief and development sector has identified poverty as a serious problem ... and then responded by commissioning reports and studies and preparing a range of publications about poverty. Few of the studies describe much success in poverty mitigation.
A better response
There can be success using a Community Centric Sustainable Development (CCSD) approach. Give poor people the opportunity to work. Pay them to do what needs to be done. Expectation is that money will be used to buy essentials first. Use information so that there is value adding not value destruction. Use information to connect resources to development opportunities.

Issue
Power abuse
Basic observation
Power is very important in the behavior of markets and in the associated economic performance.
Prevailing response
Power is abused in many different ways. The growth in the concentration of economic power is a manifestation of a possible economic behavior, but the growth of economic concentration is often evidence of the abuse of power and the ability of the powerful to manipulate economic events to their own benefit.
A better response
Power abuse is much more difficult when there are good systems in place for financial accounting to be reliable and for the public and for stakeholders to be adequately informed. Value chain analysis can help identify where power abuse is taking place, and who might be responsible. The issue of power abuse applies both at the individual level and for corporate organizations. The impact of power abuse is usually most evident among the population of poor communities.

Issue
Power generation
Basic observation
Power generation is a good indicator of economic development, and also a constraint on economic development.
Prevailing response
Power generation capacity used to be a measure of industrial progress, and the industrial revolution was driven by electrical power, and there was substantial investment to ensure that electrical power did not constrain development but facilitated growth. In the “south” for the past fifty years electric power has been a constraining factor with far too little investment made, and the power generating organizations often incapable of effective operation.
A better response
The power generation sector in the “south” has become a mess. It has been starved of essential investment in capacity and has also failed to use its installed capacity well. It has frequently had totally inept commercial operations, and all sorts of interference from outside people and organizations with power. Yet it is vital to socio-economic progress and success. Simple old fashioned basics are needed ... to start ... and then what technology can do should be deployed so that power is not a constraint.

Issue
Power use
Basic observation
Power use should be increased so that economic performance can be improved.
Prevailing response
Power use is rarely talked about in poor countries. The talk is about how far women walk to get water and firewood, and how far children walk to go to school. Most places do not have electricity ... and in poor parts of cities, families will share one light bulb.
A better response
Yet use of power is an immensely helpful way to improve economic performance. Instead of walking, a motor-bike is a huge improvement in mobility. Modern construction in the “north” has high horsepower machinery to do everything ... yet in the “south” everything must be done by hand. It makes no sense, and without more power (horse-power), there will never be major development progress.

Issue
Prices
Basic observation
Prices are a key feature of any economic system. Market determination of prices is usually better than a price system administered by government. But prices are complex with many unintended consequences.
Prevailing response
The ORDA community has little or no practical experience of prices in the enterprise environment, and their planning and projections around prices have been BAD and are a root cause of much development failure over the last 30 years.
A better response
Prices are determined in part by the market interaction of supply and demand, also by the relationship between cost and value and affordability, and also by the relationship between this product and other substitution products. The system is further complicated by various government interventions around subsidies, duties and trade restrictions or dumping. Good development requires that prices are a positive factor for development rather than the dumb situation that prevails. (see also value chain)

Issue
Primary education
Basic observation
Primary education is a basic for children ... and probably best done with the involvement of schools and teachers.
Prevailing response
Education, especially primary education has long been recognized as the foundation for relief and development progress and success. Though there has been progress in delivering more primary education, the anticipated development progress has not been achieved.
A better response
A lack of education is a constraint to success in development, and therefore it is absolutely essential that children have education and in addition become literate. But this education and literacy is not worth very much unless there are economic opportunities available to the educated children so that they can have a productive and economically valuable life. Wherever there are educated workers, and there are work opportunities, it is always possible to have economic progress.

Issue
Primary health care (PHC)
Basic observation
Health is enormously valuable, and basic primary health care services should arguable be accessible by everyone.
Prevailing response
There has been a huge commitment to PHC over the past 30 years, but the progress has been eroded in many parts of the “south” by a failure or the ORDA system and the broader failure of government, the economy and public finance. It is an embarrassment in many parts of the “south”
A better response
Getting a reasonable standard of primary health care (PHC) so that it is accessible in every community is a reasonable goal. Good health has value, and efficient delivery of PHC is not expensive when it is done appropriately.

Issue
Priorities
Basic observation
Priorities are very helpful in deciding what to do, but it is also important to have priorities determined by the right group of people.
Prevailing response
Priorities are mainly developed by donors, but major international institutions and by NGOs and others in the “north”. Very little input from the people in the “south” goes into priority determination.
A better response
Priorities should be determined by people in the “south” and if possible by representatives of people in actual communities in the “south”. Most communities know a lot about themselves and the critical problems, and even how these problems might be addressed. If community priorities were addressed the performance of relief and development would be improved substantially

Issue
Privatization
Basic observation
Privatization has a place, but privatization of government owned entities has been of questionable benefit.
Prevailing response
Very bad government organizations do economic damage, but government services run by high profit international organizations can do even more economic damage. Government ownership of high potential economic assets is a wasted opportunity, but foreign ownership of these same assets is likely to be a lost opportunity as well. Privatization has made a lot of fortunes, but rarely in the right way.
A better response
Government is rarely a good owner and manager of a production entity, but neither are unscrupulous and uncontrolled foreign investors. Privatization needs to be carried out with a deep understanding of the various value propositions, and the local people should be included as one of the key stakeholders in all decision making. Unless there is care and public accountability, the power structure is the inappropriate beneficiary to the exclusion of everyone else.

Issue
Process
Basic observation
The ORDA process for relief and development is complex and ineffective. It is often based on a project type of organization that has proved in many cases to be anti-developmental
Prevailing response
There were major changes in process in the 1970s, but since then, in spite of major changes in technology and management systems, the ORDA community still operates using essentially the same set of processes and procedures. The process is characterized by little or no useful information.
A better response
By adding measurements that are timely, reliable and easily available, the performance or relief and development can improve rapidly. Using ICT it is possible for data collection, analysis and reporting to be almost instantaneous, and for decisions to be made that reflect best possible performance.

Issue
Pro Doc
Basic observation
The Project Document (Pro Doc) is a ubiquitous document that defines how development is to be implemented.
Prevailing response
The typical Pro Doc is an unfortunate mix of detail and generalization. It is not detailed enough to serve as a definitive plan for implementation, but its detail constrain implementing organizations from doing the work in the best possible way.
A better response
The Project Cycle as developed by the World Bank is dysfunctional. It is expensive and does not add value to the process of development except for the money itself. The process and project cycle is almost totally value destruction, and goes a long way to explain how and why relief and development has been such a failure.

Issue
Professional sector
Basic observation
The professional sector is very well developed in the “north”, with accountants, lawyers, doctors, architects, engineers and others all associated with professional associations and well represented in leadership circles.
Prevailing response
The professional sector in relief and development has been almost totally ignored. Many professional assignments are carried out, not by local professionals who know both the professional area, but also know how it is applied locally, are usually ignored and instead the work is done by international experts with little local knowledge and quite often with limited professional expertise as well. It is rare, for example, for accountants to be retained to do numerical work with the right professional objectives and terms of reference.
A better response
The strengthening of the local professional sector in the “south” needs to be a priority. The widespread use of local professionals with international cooperation can be the basis for improved professional performance and improved recognition of this performance globally.

Issue
Profit
Basic observation
Profit is a key measure of corporate performance. It is simple to measure, and it is a reasonable approximation of what is most important for corporate success.
Prevailing response
Profit is usually regarded as a “bad” thing by many in the NGO community and many in the relief and development sector. This is unfortunate, because without profit, hardly anything that the “north” takes for granted would exist. Rather, the “north” would be sliding into greater and greater poverty ... a very bad outcome.
A better response
Profit is a very important measure, but it should be supplemented with others so that the quality of profit can also be quantified in a meaningful way. The best tool for understanding corporate profit is value chain analysis which can help to explain how corporate profit is generated, which stakeholders are benefiting and whether there are stakeholders who are being treated inappropriately.

Issue
Project
Basic observation
The project form of organization was developed many years ago better to manage “one off” activities like major construction. It has since become the typical modality for official relief and development activities.
Prevailing response
Almost every activity of the official relief and development assistance (ORDA) community is managed with the project form of organization. It is well suited to major construction works, but is badly suited to providing support for activities, like education and health, which need to be recurrent for ever.
A better response
A better organizational form is one which explicitly identifies activities, the involved organizations and the beneficiary communities. With this it is possible to benchmark progress and do analytical management accounting to measure progress and performance.

Issue
Project cycle
Basic observation
The project cycle as practiced by the World Bank has these steps:
Identification
Preparation
Appraisal
Negotiation
Implementation
Evaluation
Prevailing response
The project cycle has a lot of donor supported analytical effort in the initial stages, but very little during the implementation stage. Ex-post facto analysis tries to explain failure, rather than having effective management intervention and oversight during implementation to solve problems as they arise.
A better response
Organizations like the World Bank and donor organizations need to be very clear about responsibility, and then do accounting and have accountability centered on the responsible parties. Only use the project form of organization where it is a large discreet activity with a responsible implementing entity.

Issue
Project modality
Basic observation
The project modality is an undesirable structure for general development, while being well suited to unique major construction works.
Prevailing response
Almost everything in the ORDA world is done under a project modality, and as a result there is almost no institutional memory and living history of performance.
A better response
Where there is implementation, whether project modality or otherwise have a strong measurement component that tracks actual progress against plan and generally accepted best practice. Have a strong feedback process and clearly identified responsible parties.

Issue
Progress
Basic observation
There are many macro-indicators that show that the aggregate progress in combating poverty has been poor
Prevailing response
The response to indicators of failed development is to request more money for further efforts along similar lines ... with little or no management information to support the resource allocation.
A better response
A new set of metrics is needed that will keep track of progress at the community level. This has no aggregation and people can be held accountable in ways that are impossible in bigger situations. Amazing progress has been achieved in some locations, while in other locations there is value destruction and failure

Issue
Promotion
Basic observation
Promotion is a big part of marketing, in part to the potential customer and in part to decision makers that might regulate and control the product or industry.
Prevailing response
A lot of promotion has negative aspects, such as seeking unfair competitive advantage from the regulatory agencies, but it also has good aspects.
A better response
There is a huge amount of misinformation, and promotion is needed to get better information into the hands of both potential customers and potential policy makers. A lot of decisions are made quickly by legislators and regulators, and it is important that they are informed well.

Issue
Prostitution
Basic observation
It seems that prostitution is as old as human society.
Prevailing response
Prostitution is not an insignificant component of economic activity. It thrives in both rich and poor communities, though there are different drivers. The biggest relief and development sector intervention with prostitution is in connection with the prevention of HIV-AID.
A better response
The relief and development assistance community should pay a lot more attention to the economic impact drivers of prostitution and the societal damage, including STDs and HIV-AIDS associated with prostitution. Sadly poverty pushes good people into prostitution in ways that are very damaging, especially young children, both boys and girls.

Issue
Public finance
Basic observation
Public finance is the way a government funds its activities. It is of vital importance in a modern economy, but strong systems of public finance are absent in most of the “south”
Prevailing response
Public finance has been practically ignored by relief and development experts, and it has failed. The IMF solutions tend to be problematic for development. The sector is replete with bad lending and bad borrowing, and an almost totally failed information framework for decision making and accountability.
A better response
Reform of the public finance sector. More lending. An expectation that loans will be repaid. Good basic accounting everywhere in government. Basic stuff ... nothing fancy. Global support for anti-corruption measures that damage the public finance market.

Issue
Public relations
Basic observation
Public relations has become an essential part of both the corporate world and politics.
Prevailing response
There are many activities going on to help communicate information that an organization wants to be known. This information is rarely objective and much is spin and misinformation.
A better response
There is a need to have not only the information that an organization wants to communicate, but also the information that legitimate stakeholders want to know. The latter is not often available, though there is a lot more dialog about “transparency” than in years past. Bottom line, however, there is very little accountability to the public and all stakeholders.

Issue
Public safety
Basic observation
The performance of police, fire departments and emergency medical services has an important impact on community and quality of life.
Prevailing response
These critical services are not mainstream and a high priority in routine ORDA programming. In many cases political leadership has control over these services to the detriment of the public at large.
A better response
A high level of professionalism in the public safety services makes a big difference in quality of life in any community. They can be professional and they can be volunteer at the same time. These services should be given attention in any community level planning.

Issue
Publicity
Basic observation
Publicity is good, and even where it is bad publicity, it is good.
Prevailing response
Publicity has many different faces, but has become a critical factor in success in many formerly publicity free areas. Publicity is associated with public relations, advertising and the communications function, and not much associated with solid objective information about performance.
A better response
Publicity is what an organization wants to control and pursue. However, most of the public and the stakeholders want relevant information about an organization and its performance, which may or may not be the same thing. Publicity that is driven by an organization's communications agenda needs to be supplemented by what the public and stakeholders want to know.
.
From 'HUNDREDS OF ISSUES THAT IMPACT RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT'
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