Guenter Nooke, the German Chancellor's Personal Representative for Africa in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, has replied in writing to Atlantic Memo 24: Africa Needs an Online Index of Aid Effectiveness:
The idea of an aid effectiveness index is a good one. Naturally, the undertaking is bound to be more about getting a much-needed discussion going than about defining an exact or even just number for the country in question. An index would also help keep track of changes in the level of corruption as they take place.
As far as regards to weighing the causal variables for such an index, it is my opinion that in many instances today, the responsibility of the respective government is not sufficiently considered. Often this is due to diplomatic restraint.
However, politics is always power politics. It is a question of who exerts influence and who succeeds in seeing his interests through against those of the other party (Weber). As a rule of thumb, that means that the president of an African country needs to be held responsible for the ongoings in his country: Why is he more interested in keeping his own interest group in power than in securing greater well-being for the entire population? Why do control mechanisms not work?
However, it is naïve to recommend that an authoritarian leader acquiesce on issues that will prove costly to him in terms of remaining in power. You need to put pressure on people in order to achieve results. Putting up an online index is somewhat like putting someone in a modern-day pillory. It puts pressure on the responsible parties, as investors will hardly be forthcoming in pouring their money into a country riddled by corruption.
Therefore, good luck to you in keeping up the pressure, as all of us - civil society and professional politicians - are called upon to act.
German Chancellor's Personal Representative for Africa
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
As part of its core mission, atlantic-community.org seeks to introduce the concept of crowd sourcing into the policy making process. By presenting expert opinions to members, the editorial team stimulates debate in the community. The purpose of the discussion is the formulation of concrete policy recommendations. The editorial team distills the best ideas put forth by experts and the interested public alike into a policy memorandum, which is subsequently presented to policymakers.
In May of this year, Atlantic Community called upon its members to discuss how to improve aid to Africa in a theme week entitled "A New Course for Western Aid to Africa." It presented expert opinions on various aspects of the international development aid process from Lawrence Haddad (Director of the Institute for Development Studies), Owen Barder (Development Initiatives and the Center for Global Development), Greg Adams (Director of Oxfam America's Aid Effectiveness program), Malcolm McPherson (Harvard University), G. Pascal Zachary (former Wall Street Journal reporter and author of Married to Africa), Teddy Brett (the London School of Economics), and Cecilie Wathne (formerly of the Overseas Development Institute).