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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Strong support for weak performance: donor competition in Madagascar
Author:Horning, Nadia RabesahalaISNI
Periodical:African affairs: the journal of the Royal African Society
Geographic term:Madagascar
Subjects:environmental policy
development cooperation
aid agencies
Abstract:Since independence, Madagascar's ability to meet its development and environmental goals has remained weak. Yet Madagascar has never suffered a shortage of foreign assistance. What explains such a paradox? This article argues that the gap between foreign aid and development performance is rooted in donor competition to give aid for the purpose of advancing their foreign interests. In turn, the State exploits this donor competition to stay afloat. This process of exploiting aid creates a situation of mutual dependency between donors and the State. This is a departure from theories that attribute poor performance solely to recipient countries' aid dependency. The article examines State-donor relations in Madagascar's environmental sector in the past two decades. It suggests that influencing government policies (for donors) and resource capture and redistribution (for the State), rather than conservation per se, are the de facto goals of conservation politics. It then assesses the extent to which the dynamics of conservation politics apply beyond this specific arena. It concludes that what disables successful conservation and the development it should enable is neither the volume nor type of foreign aid but the absence of institutions that effectively align donor and State incentives with strong development performance. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]