International Aid and Rural Development

International Aid

Long-term policy efforts to achieve greater accountability of all aid agencies, as well as integration of the voices of affected communities, is crucial to the evolution of a more just and sustainable aid regime. Aid to China has played a key role in China’s transformation, while China’s growing aid to South nations necessitates careful analysis concerning impacts and implications for development processes North and South. One area of China’s focus is large-scale infrastructure projects, and this has raised concerns in and out of China.

Three Gorges Dam

Three Gorges Dam - Companies and banks from Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Brazil have all played a role in financing the dam, though the primary funding was internal.

Building on its history of dam construction, China is now the largest dam builder in the world. With more than 25,800 large dams internally, more than any other country in the world , China plans to double domestic hydropower capacity to 250,000MW by 2020. At the same time, Chinese banks and construction firms have used this vast experience in China’s global integration process, and are involved in building 195 dams in 45 countries. The Chinese state sees hydropower as a central pillar in its plans for reducing China’s carbon imprint. And the World Bank has long advocated hydropower in its development approach. But the view of hydropower as a carbon-friendly, renewable energy solution is being reassessed in light of new findings on emergent long-term social, environmental, and climate change impacts.

In the global conversation on ways to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, Action 2030 emphasizes that large-scale proposals include a detailed consideration of possible and probable long-term impacts to ensure a functional, sustainable future for everyone. As the fuel that makes these large-scale projects possible, international aid flows are worth everyone’s attention. Aid comes in many shapes and sizes and includes grants, technical assistance, loans, credit guarantees and insurance. It involves large and influential institutions from multilateral development banks, such as the World Bank, to import export agencies of many governments, to state development banks, to multi and bilateral aid agencies that primarily provide grants and technical assistance.

Rural Development

"On this one planet there are many worlds"

What happens to the world’s rural majority is an essential and too often overlooked component of our urban-biased analyses. China’s experience with rural development over the past 60 years provides a wealth of information on a wide range of policy approaches in practice. Rural-Urban dichotomies no longer neatly apply, and circular migration and other complex linkages point to the need for integrated policy analysis. Action2030 is actively engaged in several research projects in rural areas from which we draw insights for our analysis of rural development policy, and innovations for the future. These include long-term research in northeast and southwest China, as well as field sites in rural Nepal, northeast India, and Brazil