Darwin awards for international organisations and treaties

Chatting with a friend over lunch on what is real work and what is just unproductive time-filler, we touched upon the Food Aid Convention. If this international treaty would just vaporise without leaving a trace, the overall effect on food security would probably be positive, as this treaty promotes a one-size-fits-all supply driven approach to food assistance, and its renegotiating takes up a lot of time of food security professionals.

Wouldn’t a “Darwin Award for Development Treaties and Organisations” be useful, to bestow an award on those development organisations and treaties who, by simply obliterating themselves, would contribute more to the development goals they promote then by dragging on. Different from the Darwin award for humans, where the prize is only awarded posthumously, the prize will honor the laureates with the best potential for improvement of the development gene-pool, as, you know, international organisation never die.

When assessing the list of international treaties and organisations however, most of them seem, at least on first sight, to have a potential contribution to development. However, it is only as an insider you notice the disfunctionality of an institution. Probably some more informal get-togethers qualify, like the MOPAN group. The multilateral aid effectiveness exercise by the new government in the UK happening for the moment at DFID might provide some good data for awarding the price.

For my part, I would grant the Food Aid Convention this prize, any more takers?

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