Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Foreign Aid 12: WB Corruption of Civil Society

Foreign aid agencies like the World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), various UN bodies, USAID, etc. have funding for civil society groups and NGOs to get their support for "good governance" projects and programs. There is implicit message that such civil society groups should not question the bloated and BIG governments, and the big taxes and fees that support those big governments and big foreign aid bodies.

Below is a WB Civil Society Fund (CSF) funding opportunity. The WB wants civil society groups to be engaged in good governance projects, which is a good program. But as I mentioned above, the WB would also not be happy if civil society groups will demand less government, less regulations and less taxation. The business of the WB and other foreign aid bodies is to help expand governments of developing economies for all sorts of reasons and alibi -- save the planet, save the turtles and other wildlife, save the poor, achieve the MDGs, save the world economy, etc.

Minimal Government Thinkers and real free market groups cannot and should not apply for this kind of funding. Why?

Well, we can not attack the WB and other foreign aid bodies whenever they are in the "Rah-rah-rah, more taxes" or "more climate loans racket" mood if we get money from them.

Seriously, I think these foreign aid bodies are abolishable. But of course, only a few, if any, civil society group in this country share our ideas and philosophies.




About the Fund

The Civil Society Fund or CSF (formerly Small Grants Program) supports activities related to civic engagement by providing small grants administered through World Bank Country Offices.

The CSF seeds and supports activities that empower and enable citizens to take initiatives to enhance and influence development outcomes. Activities strengthen mechanisms for inclusion, accountability, and participation. Activities also strengthen partnerships with public sector, other civil society organizations, and the private sector....

Who Can Apply?

· Civil society organizations based in the Philippines and working on issues of development
· Civil society organizations must be in good standing and have a record of achievement in the community and record of financial probity;
· Priority will be given to organizations not supported by the CSF in previous years (organizations are not eligible for more than three grants
from the CSF within a five-year period).

What Activities Are Supported?

The CSF supports activities whose primary objective is civic engagement. A thematic focus is adopted each year to complement the Bank program in the Philippines. For FY 2011, the theme is Promoting Citizen Involvement for Good Governancen. CSF ‘11 shall support innovations on dissemination of information or promotion of knowledge sharing on social accountability or demand-driven good governance particularly in terms of their implications to vulnerable Filipino families/ households and communities....

What Size of Grants are Awarded?

Maximum grant per project shall be $10,000. CSF ‘11 expects to support about 2-3 proposals. The Grant should fund only a portion of the project cost, and therefore prefers that its grants help leverage additional contributions from other sources. Applicant organizations are asked to describe how a grant from the World Bank might help them to raise matching funds from other donors. A cash or in-kind counterpart from the applicant-organization of, at least, 20% of total cost required and should be reflected in the proposed budget...

On a related note, I wrote this recently:

On ADB climate loans racket for electric tricycles.

These tricycles look cute, but should government enter this foray and resort to additional ADB borrowing, when private sector operators can do that function and not compromise further our public debt situation? ADB is more than happy to make such loans as it will make lots of interest earnings from those climate loans racket. 

The probability that the ADB and other foreign aid bodies will go bankrupt is zero. Even if they will give in to Heherson Alvarez's propoposal that the Philippines should borrow $10 B for 10 years, or $100 billion of climate loans robbery.

Government does not live on voluntary exchange, like what we do in our private enterprises. You dissatisfy your clients, they turn their backs, they tell their pals how lousy you are, later you close shop and might go hungry. Government lives on forced exchange and coercion. Even if you do not support those electric tricycles, even if you do not support those climate adaptation measures to "save the planet", you pay taxes, by hook or by crook, and government will pay the WB, ADB and other debt pushers. 

Debt pushers are no different from drug pushers. They push for addiction and endless dependence.

See also:
Foreign Aid 6: IMF is Engineerable and Abolishable, September 05, 2006
Foreign Aid 7: Wolfowitzoellickation of the WB, May 30, 2007
Foreign Aid 8: Abolish the IMF, August 08, 2007
Foreign Aid 9: WB Wants Hike in Gasoline Excise Tax, July 10, 2009
Foreign Aid 10: Why We Don't Need It, February 15, 2010

Foreign Aid 11: People Mobility and Aid Hypocrisy, September 21, 2010

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