good to come out from that part of the world. 85 It is this lacunae that MDG 8
is positioned to fill, for Western countries whose ODA is needed to pull the
region out of its socioeconomic doldrums to demand accountability. 86
Certainly, wealthy countries whose assistance is desperately sought by
third world nations have a say on who gets their tax dollars and how the
money is spent. In 2008, Canada enacted a statute aptly titled “Official
Development Assistance Accountability Act,” the purpose of which is to
ensure that provision of ODA is consistent with, inter alia, Canadian values,
the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness of March 2, 200587 and human
rights. 88 Disbursement of ODA funds is subject to three conditions: that the
funds contribute to poverty reduction; take into account the perspectives of
the poor; and is consistent with international human rights standards. 89 The
implication, therefore, is that inability to demonstrate compliance with these
conditions disqualifies a country from receipt of Canadian aid. This is not
insignificant. Having aid-seeking nations demonstrate compliance with the
imperatives of the statute is vital to eliciting good governance from hitherto
irresponsible governments in the third world.
But whether Canada will stringently enforce these requirements as a sine
qua non for receipt of its ODA remains to be seen. Nonetheless, by
incorporating these measures as part of its foreign policy, the country sends
a strong signal to developing nations that the era of irresponsible, business-as-usual, governance is over. 90 The message is that no longer could the “big
men” in these countries treat national resources as their private largesse and,
at the same time, expect foreign support. 91 No doubt, this is a good
86. Official List of MDG Indicators, UNITED NATIONS STATISTICS DIVISION (Jan. 15,
87. The Paris Declaration represents an agreement between developed and developing
countries aimed at reforming the ways ODA is delivered and managed in several ways. First,
it recognizes the need for more aid. Second, it emphasizes that aid effectiveness must also be
improved by ensuring that disbursements will be used for legitimate purposes. Third, it
requires reliable assessments of performance, transparency and accountability of country
systems. See THE PARIS DECLARATION ON AID EFFECTIVENESS AND THE ACCRA AGENDA FOR
ACTION 1, 3-4, 15 (2008), available at http://www.oecd.org/dac/effectiveness/34428351.pdf.
88. Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, S. C. 2008, c. 17 § 2( 1),
available at http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/PDF/O-2.8.pdf.
89. Id. at § 4( 1).
90. See We Need a Plan to Make Poverty History: Submission to the Standing Committee
on Finance Pre-Budget Consultations, MAKE POVERTY HISTORY, available at http://
www.makepovertyhistory.ca/submission-to-the-standing-committee-on-finance-pre-budget-consultations-from-make-poverty-history (last visited Oct 12, 2015) (reiterating that the
legislation holds great potential for improving the quality of Canadian aid by focusing on
poverty reduction and requiring much better government accountability for aid spending).
91. See THE PARIS DECLARATION ON AID EFFECTIVENESS AND THE ACCRA AGENDA FOR
ACTION, supra note 87, at 20.