Collaborate for development

There is still a great need for rich and poor countries to work together for development. But little real cooperation comes about when development aid spending is decided and outsourced in the Netherlands.  This also goes against scientific insights on effective aid. This is argued by Geske Dijkstra, professor of Governance and Global Development, in her valedictory speech 'Working together for development', which she will deliver at Erasmus University Rotterdam on 29 March.

See powerpoint in English below 

Research shows that aid is most effective when recipients have a say in how it is spent and can take charge of implementation themselves. However, most of the Dutch development cooperation is determined and outsourced in the Netherlands itself, for instance, through World Bank 'trust funds' for a specific theme, such as primary education, or through Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland where companies can receive subsidies if they invest in developing countries. As a result, there is no cooperation with recipient governments and often not with other donors either.

The second problem is that the Netherlands and many other Western donors increasingly use development cooperation to achieve other goals, such as promoting trade and preventing migration and conflict. "Even though there is no scientific basis for this," Dijkstra points out. This is particularly true for the combination of aid and trade. The adage "Doing what the Netherlands is good at" goes against scientific insights on effective aid. Combining aid and trade detracts from development cooperation's relevance, effectiveness and efficiency.    

About Geske Dijkstra
Prof Geske Dijkstra (1956) is Professor of Governance and Global Development at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She studied sociology and economics at the University of Groningen and obtained her PhD at that university in 1988 with a thesis on the mixed economy of Nicaragua. In the 1980s, she lived and worked in Central America for several years. She then held positions at the Open University, Maastricht University and the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. From 2000, she joined the Department of Public Administration (now Department of Public Administration and Sociology) at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences. She has always combined teaching and research with conducting studies and evaluations for organisations in development cooperation. She has published eight books and a large number of articles in academic journals. Since 2011, she has been 'associate editor' of Feminist Economics.


More information

Woensdag 29 maart | Aula Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Campus Woudestein | 16.00-17.00 uur | vrij toegankelijk | livestream 

Marjolein Kooistra, communicatie ESSB, | 0683676038 

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