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Date: 2024-07-18 Page is: DBtxt003.php bk005C0000
Burgess Book Manuscript
From the book 'Hundreds of Issues that Impact Relief and Development'
Section CCC

Issue
CBOs
Basic observation
Community Based Organizations (CBOs) are organizations where the main stakeholders are part of the local community.
Prevailing response
For several years there has been a euphoria over CBOs and a simplistic view that CBOs would be the silver bullet that would improve relief and development sector performance.
A better response
A CBO has the potential to be a very useful piece of a relief and development framework that is cost effective and effective, but this potential will only be realised if the CBO has good goals and is well managed. A CBO also needs appropriate support and oversight. Steps also are need to ensure that a CBO is not used to faciltiate unethical conduct.

Issue
CCMs
Basic observation
Country Coordinating Mechanisms have been invented to facilitate the management of resources of the GFATM
Prevailing response
The CCMs were set up to facilitate the planning of health interventions for funding by GFATM. The methodology was invented by GFATM in response to the need for better transparency and accountability. This was a bad idea reflecting ongoing reluctance to use national systems for decision making and for resource management and control.
A better response
There is a Ministry of Finance for the management and control of government resources, and a Ministry of Health to coordinate health interventions. Fix the system and use it, and make sure that the system works by appropriate internal and independent oversight. Find out where there are good people, and chase out the bad.

Issue
Capacity
Basic observation
Capacity is a challenge, but the problem aggravated because of faulty strategy, planning and priorities rather than being a fundamental problem. Organize to use the capacity that is available.
Prevailing response
Capacity as a constraint has been addressed by massive programs of technical assistance and training over many years, but almost all in the government, the public sector and in marginal SMEs.
A better response
Capacity as a constraint needs to be addressed by recognizing what works and building on it. The culture and the economic environment require hard thinking about how best to do things with the people who are available and the training and experience they have.

Issue
Capital
Basic observation
Capital is an essential element of any economic system.
Prevailing response
Capital has been demonized by both adherents of communist ideology and by many not for profit advocates. Meanwhile owners of capital have used capital to become more powerful than is healthy.
A better response
Capital should be brought into the mainstream of development activity so that profit derived from capital can be used to improve the wealth not only of an elite but also the poor at the bottom of the pyramid.

Issue
Capitalism
Basic observation
Capitalism and the capitalist system has proved to be a system that creates wealth.
Prevailing response
The present global system is allowing capital to create wealth, but in ways that have a marginal impact on the world's poor at best, and in some cases have a damaging impact.
A better response
A global relief and development strategy can be established that makes wealth for everyone. The system already works for the wealthy and highly skilled. The poor also must get opportunities to make their own wealth doing things that are needed in their own communities, and are within their capacity to do.

Issue
Capital investment
Basic observation
Capital investment is, arguably, a big determinant of future economic performance. It is expenditure that has a lasting value, a value that last several periods.
Prevailing response
Capital expenditure is not specially accounted for in the normal accounting of cash basis government accounting, and the sort of analysis that would identify durable value is not at all commonplace.
A better response
Capital expenditures should be clearly accounted for using generally accepted principles of accrual accounting. Capital expenditures should be encouraged and should be expected to deliver a long term flow of benefits to the society and the economy.

Issue
Capital Markets
Basic observation
Capital markets are where capital can be accessed. Many different financial instruments have been created to makeit possible for wealth to finance development.
Prevailing response
Capital markets have done rather little to facilitate relief and development. The system has been used by World Bank and the regional development banks to help finance development, but it is on a small scale compared to the funding of global corporate enterprise. The creation of local capital markets has been cosmetic and marginal.
A better response
Capital markets need to be given the opportunity to invest in relief and development and to have success. A start must be made to document success in relief and development so that decision makers in capital market want to become involved and make money building a sector of the global economy that presently has no economic status at all.

Issue
Cash Flow
Basic observation
Cash flow is essential to pay bills on time and to keep any operation functioning.
Prevailing response
In too much of the relief and development sector cash flow is derived from donations (grants) that do not have to be economically justified. Sustainability is ofter thought of in cash flow terms that are at odds with value adding sustainability.
A better response
A strong management accounting framework integrates balance sheet, operating accounts and cash flow into a comprehensive whole. Cash flow must be adequate to keep the bills paid, but it is the value equation that truly is the determinant of sustainability.

Issue
Change
Basic observation
Change is not easy, and much change is not progress. Changing a name is cosmetics, not change.
Prevailing response
From time to time there has been big and important change. The end of “empire”, the advent of the internal combustion engine, flight, antibiotics, micro-systems for information, and a host of others. Good change is often delayed because it is not easy, and the powerful want to control it.
A better response
Change can be facilitated by using what technology makes possible to make benefit for people at all strata of the global economy. But changes is always opposed by groups that are challenged by change, and especially the powerful who may lose their positions of influence.

Issue
Child Labor
Basic observation
Child labor was a feature of economic life everywhere until the modern industrial era emerged in the 19th century.
Prevailing response
Child labor has been reduced in rich countries and is illegal, but it is commonplace around the world where poverty and hunger and failed society and economics prevail. It is probably growing as a global problem, but is being substantially ignored.
A better response
Child labor facts should be cumulated and reported so that there can be action and accountability. A lot of low cost products and services depend on child labor, but the facts are kept out of the media. The problem needs information transparency and increased ethical responsibility on the part of business and society.

Issue
Children's Rights
Basic observation
In modern civilized society children have rights, that should be sacrosanct.
Prevailing response
But children in the modern world of failed development are often the object of all sorts of abuse. They are an economic asset and are used in many ways that are obscene including sexual exploitation, child labor, as child soldiers. Some children get opportunities, but not by any means all.
A better response
Children should be able to grow up in communities where it is possible to have a decent life, with access to health and education, social institutions and economic opportunity.

Issue
Church
Basic observation
The Christian Church has become a big ethical factor around the world in 2000 years ... not all good, but better than a non ethical world might have been.
Prevailing response
There are many dimensions to the Christian Church, and too much the Church has emerged as a divisive factor in the organization of society.
A better response
There is a huge potential for the Church to embrace a culture of peace and love and to encourage an ethical basis for society and the global business economy. The idea of peace and goodwill to all people is central to Christian behavior, and would be good for everyone.

Issue
Civil Society
Basic observation
Civil society is a relatively new term, referring to the public, NGOs, etc.
Prevailing response
There is a clamor for civil society to have a greater role in determining the policy of organizations such as the World Bank, UN and others. Civil society has emerged as a new forum for advocacy.
A better response
Civil society has the potential to be the driver of relief and development by being the facilitator of a people centered process for relief and development activities.

Issue
Clothing
Basic observation
Clothing is one of the basics of human society
Prevailing response
The textile industry is an early piece of the industrial revolution and in many countries the first industry to emerge as development progresses. A lot of overcapacity and a lot of competition and global regulation.
A better response
Textiles, and clothing are both basic and the foundation for a fashion industry. Manufacturing and trade in textiles has a lot of potential to be a valuable part of sustainable development progress.

Issue
Cold chain
Basic observation
Many modern medicines need to be transported and stored at a low temperatures in order to maintain their safety and effectiveness.
Prevailing response
Trained medical personnel around the world know about the need for a cold chain to preserve the low temperatures of medicines, especially vaccines. But in spite of this most poor countries have dysfunctional cold chains and drugs are compromised.
A better response
The cold chain problem cannot be solved in a vacuum. It should have a high priority within a broader reform of the economic foundation for the health sector. Almost everything needed to have success in the health sector is at risk because of the underlying financial constraints and poor allocation of scarce resources.

Issue
Communications
Basic observation
The modern technology of communications is one of the wonders of the world. It is amazing and continues to develop.
Prevailing response
There is a big infrastructure need to support modern communications technology, and this is being provided mainly using a model that maximizes profit for decision makers, investors and regulators.
A better response
Communications infrastructure and the deployment of the technology should also include decision making where what is best for relief and development and socio-economic progress. Communications can be of huge value in disseminating information

Issue
Communism
Basic observation
Communism was a popular system of organizing society for many countries in the 20th Century. Eventually it proved to be an economic failure.
Prevailing response
The cold war and the idealogical competition between communism and capitalism dominated the post WWII 20th century. Eventually communism proved to be an unsustainable economic system, especially when it needed to support a huge military apparatus for security, both internal and external.
A better response
The end of communism and the collapse of the Soviet Union was not a win for capitalism, but more a loss for communism. This is worth remembering, because while capitalism does create wealth more effectively than communism, it does not necessarily use wealth in the most valuable way for society as a whole.

Issue
Community
Basic observation
Community has been ignored by ORDA organizations. Lip service is paid to community and participative processes with rapid visits by experts. Most communities have seen very little of development importance in past sixty years. A vast missing link in the development process .
Prevailing response
A growing amount of “participative” development assistance, but the process is still controlled by the donors and the “top” of the socio-economic hierarchy
A better response
Community Centric Sustainable Development (CCSD) puts the community at the center of economic progress. It builds on the idea that not only “all politics is local”, but that “all living is local”. A key part of CCSD is using a set of metrics to measure activity cost and the related values within the community.

Issue
Community finance
Basic observation
There is no community finance agenda in the ORDA world with the exception of microfinance
Prevailing response
Community finance is not presently on the agenda of the ORDA community. To the extent that finance is being considered it is usually bigger and rarely linked directly to any community initiative.
A better response
Community finance products are key to success in relief and development. Financing adds value when it is used to do something that results in enduring value, and especially a sustained increase in productivity. This is most needed at the community level where local people do valuable things for themselves.

Issue
Conditionality
Basic observation
Conditionality is the practice of attaching conditions to an activity. It is a common practice with loans and grants from the donor community.
Prevailing response
Conditionality is widely used by the World Bank, IMF and the international financial and donor community in connection with the financing of poor countries. While some conditions may be reasonable, a lot have served to ensure that economic performance in poor countries will remain disastrous.
A better response
There needs to be a lot of objective analysis of information about conditionality and the impact on poor developing countries. This is not easy, but it is likely that some conditionality has worked well and other conditionality has been a disaster. Much more needs to be known and understand about factors that go beyond the conditionality to other factors.

Issue
Conferences (see also workshops and seminars)
Basic observation
Conferences are either a way of sharing information and networking, or a social event and perhaps a reward for performance
Prevailing response
The ORDA community uses conferences to share information and to highlight issues of concern. But they have acquired a life of their own and are an end in themselves, often costing a lot and not building much durable value.
A better response
Do value accounting on every conference. Use much more alternative methods of sharing knowledge such as the Internet. Limit conferences to those that are justified by value adding potential.

Issue
Conflict resolution
Basic observation
Conflict resolution is a process in great demand because of so many conflicts.
Prevailing response
The existence of many conflicts has created a demand for conflict resolution and ways to mitigate the destruction associated with conflict.
A better response
Conflict resolution is a band aid, and an example of too little and too late. What is needed is process that reduces the amount of conflict before conflict every starts, This can be done, but tends to be sidetracked by the established controllers of power.

Issue
Consensus
Basic observation
Consensus, or having broad agreement is highly desirable.
Prevailing response
Surprisingly little in the global system seems to have much component of consensus. More it appears that “my views” and “my advantage” is the only one that matters and I win if I have the power, no matter what it does to everyone else.
A better response
Consensus is difficult when many many different agendas have to be reconciled ... and perhaps impossible at the global level. But there are ways at a community level, for example, to get more agreement and consensus so that there is very much more socio-economic progress.

Issue
Constitution
Basic observation
Useful to have the framework for law and government and governance written down
Prevailing response
Constitution is a big issue in media and intergovernmental relations. It is given a lot of attention and done in high profile manner and in haste.
A better response
Better to take a lot of time, and make it a process that is organic rather than driven by procedure and timetable. Better also to address in parallel with many other important societal and economic issues

Issue
Constraints
Basic observation
Constraints on successful relief and development are everywhere.
Prevailing response
Constraints have been evident in the relief and development sector for decades, but rather little has been done to remove constraints and move on to success. The same problems are constraining progress in 2005 that were problems 20 and 30 years ago. This is nonsense.
A better response
A solution oriented relief and development sector would have removed many of the old constraints so that some success could be achieved. If something fails, do not do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Go for good goals, but start doing it in a different way.

Issue
Consultation
Basic observation
Consultation is almost always regarded as something that should be done in order to get the best results.
Prevailing response
But it is often consultation in form rather than consultation in substance. The World Bank is part of a lot of consultation, but arguably very little of the feedback to the WB in these consultations is taken into consideration in policy formulation and decision making
A better response
Consultation can be very powerful and very efficient. Good consultation makes it possible for small teams to make use of a lot of knowledge that is otherwise difficult to access. Good consultation makes it possible to avoid mistakes. Good consultation is usually a win win for everyone.

Issue
Consultants
Basic observation
Consultants should be experts and a source of good information about a problem to be addressed
Prevailing response
But too often consultants merely give feedback that is based on what the client wants to hear rather than what is best for the problem to be addressed. It is not easy to face up to the reality that the honest feedback is not going to result in repeat business.
A better response
In the ORDA community consultants need to have alternative work opportunities so that they are not constrained totally by the main ORDA institutions. The conventional wisdom, largely wrong, dominates the consulting space because this is what the ORDA organizations are willing to pay for.

Issue
Cooperatives
Basic observation
Cooperatives have often been very valuable in making success possible by organizing so that economics starts to work in favor of the members.
Prevailing response
Some cooperatives are successful and some are not. In too many cases cooperatives working with the support of the relief and development sector have been used as a vehicle for inappropriate control and diversion of moneys at the expense of legitimate members.
A better response
Cooperatives are a legitimate way of organizing to improve economic results, but they need ethical management and staff need to be held accountable for their work and their responsibilities. Good cooperatives are not always small, nor are they always big. But good cooperatives always have good members and staff.

Issue
Copyright
Basic observation
Copyright and intellectual property is an important part of modern value creation and control.
Prevailing response
Copyright and intellectual property seem to be regarded as a more important in law than human rights and human dignity.
A better response
A new equilibrium between copyright and intellectual property and needs of society is required. Legitimate protection of effort and investment needs to be balanced against the demands of an ethical and fair global society. This is not easy, but it is not being attempted.

Issue
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Basic observation
CSR has emerged in the last few years as a new dimension of concern about corporate behavior.
Prevailing response
Most international corporations are aware of CSR and have taken steps to reduce the risk of negative media about their operations. In general the measures are more cosmetic than substantive.
A better response
Information about corporate CSR needs to be easily accessible and on the “record”. The information building process has to go beyond the corporate press release to facilitate discovery and assessment of the underlying behavior

Issue
Corruption (grand corruption)
Basic observation
A big failure of ethics. Grand corruption has distorted decision making and made a few very rich at the expense of the vast majority.
Prevailing response
Used to be ignored. Now there are discussions about corruption and workshops, conferences and so on. Few incitements of any significance. Corruption is difficult to stop because too many powerful people and corporations benefit from the practice.
A better response
Use information to make it easier to do things right. Accounting should be simple, and easily accessible and verifiable. Government accounting should be under scrutiny by all people everywhere. Good people do not like corruption, but have to live with it. Use accounting to give clarity to what is happening with the money. Do not fund things that are not transparent.

Issue
Corruption (petty corruption)
Basic observation
Petty corruption is highly undesirable, but often is expected because low salary scales make it impossible for junior grade staff to support themselves legitimately.
Prevailing response
Not very much on the prevailing priority agenda.
A better response
Make it possible for more people to have jobs that pay reasonable wages so that “dash” is not needed for a family to live adequately. Make the accounting better in all organizations and raise the bar for ethical behavior.

Issue
Costs (see also standard costs, opportunity costs and cost behavior)
Basic observation
Costs are a very big determinant of development success. Because of advances in science and technology many costs have gone down, and others have increased.
Prevailing response
Costs are very important, but in the ORDA community almost nothing is known about costs. Expenditures are budgeted, but rarely are expenditures related explicitly to unit costs. Very little is known about unit costs within the project framework. It is a huge missing element of management information.
A better response
By making costs part of the core management information for development, and then relating costs to outputs and the value of the outcomes, it becomes possible to manage the use of resources in the ORDA world in a far better way. Most unit costs in government and the ORDA community are too high and a huge improvement can be made by creating a more efficient system performance.

Issue
Cost behavior
Basic observation
Cost behavior needs to be understood in order to make good decisions. The best corporations known this well. The ORDA community almost not at all.
Prevailing response
Because there is no knowledge of cost, there is no understanding of cost behavior. The ORDA community operates at a severe disadvantage, but it does not matter because nobody has ever held them accountable for their costs and their performance.
A better response
Understanding cost behavior is a natural step beyond knowing what they are. In some products, economies of scale are huge and only volume production and volume use makes sense. In other products and services there are instead dis-economies of scale. It makes a difference which is which.

Issue
Culture
Basic observation
Culture has value, though not easy to measure using monetary units. Culture is a determinant of a lot of human behavior that is not otherwise explicable.
Prevailing response
Culture has been sidelined as a useful part of the relief and development equation. To the extent that it is supported it is hanging on at the outside where it does no harm, but sadly not much good either. Most ORDA institutions are using a development model that has no place for “culture”
A better response
Culture has a lot of value when it is used to help understand what works and what does not. Culture gets in the way when the structure is wrong, but the culture is advantageous when it is used to facilitate progress.

Issue
Curative care
Basic observation
Amazing advances have been made in the science of medicine, and amazing curative care is possible.
Prevailing response
But curative care is also expensive, and very few can afford the high costs associated with amazing medicine.
A better response
Prevention is better than cure. But if cure is needed, then it would be good if the cure was cost effective. The medical sector must no longer ignore the challenges of cost effectiveness and affordability of good curative care so that it is limited to a very few of the richest people in society.

Issue
Currency
Basic observation
Currency, or money is a store of value and a medium of exchange.
Prevailing response
Currency may be a medium of exchange, but it is a very poor store of value. Even the “best” currencies have lost relative to tangible assets over the past years, and, if anything it is getting worse.
A better response
Currency needs to be integrated much better into the metrics of relief and development, and the behavior of currency taken into consideration in the analysis of socio-economic progress. The risk associated with exchange rate changes needs also to be integrated into RDS analysis.
.
From 'HUNDREDS OF ISSUES THAT IMPACT RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT'
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