How to not coordinate

This is a little piece of fiction – based on true events but for all involved it is better not to name the location or the actors. There is this smallish, pretty aid-dependent country that has always been somewhat of a darling of the international community. Lots of aid coming in, and all the good stuff being done – supporting government to do things themselves, strengthening systems, building capacity. There is this particular sector in this little country that has really made progress in improving lives. The numbers of those in need in this sector are going down steadily, and it looks like our little country is on track to get rid of one major problem bogging it down in a few more years. All good, until one looks at how this is all going down. It turns out there is a bit too much coordination going on – to the extent that the lay person may get the impression that coordination is the main occupation for everyone. Let’s see – there are 8 sector committees – one for all, one for the Executive, one for Parliament, one for the donors, one for the donors and government, one for the NGOs, one for. . .  ?  (forgot that one). As one can imagine there are many many meetings that – surprisingly – the same people go to all of the time. Especially the government people who are running all these actually very productive activities hardly get any time to actually do any running – besides running from one meeting to another. Is this what we call aid effectiveness? Certainly not the most efficient way of getting things done. And i have this sinking feeling that my little country is not the only one down there? Dare I ask if things could go even better if people had the time to do their job? I wonder. . . 

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