Around 6,000 people in 20 countries that have been receiving aid were interviewed for this book. Their voices are what makes this book an insightful and thought-provoking read.
// Strengthening climate resilience
"Does the way that international assistance is now organised make sense?" - The book starts out with this fundamental challenge to the status quo. Rather than engage in cross-continental policy analyses, the CDA authors tackle international development cooperation from the receiving sides' view. They explain how grateful people are for aid efforts but that there are always drawbacks: "Many [respondents] describe how assistance begins as a boost to people's spirits and energies, but over time, becomes entrenched as an increasingly complicated system of reciprocated dependence."
The study is laced with numerous quotes from all around the world, which renders the analyses some
// Towards a new paradigm?
The authors conclude from their listening that a shift from an externally driven aid delivery system towards a collaborative aid system. The latter views local people as colleagues, not merely recipients, for example. It also fits money and timing to strategy and realities on the ground and is based on collaborative decision-making. They also envision a new funding system - and offer many recommendations consolidated from the thousands of quotes.
With "The Listening Project", CDA Collaborative Learning Projects organised teams of “listeners” from international and local aid agencies in 20 countries to gather the voices, insights and ideas of people both inside and outside the aid system between 2005 and 2009.