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Current debate

Does Swedish development assistance need more bureaucracy?

Swedish development assistance would become more efficient with more management costs. That is the opinion of a professor of political science in Dagens Nyheter. Another debater advocates a global base income to tackle the economic crisis in the wake of the corona pandemic. And the criticism is harsh against Israel's plans for annexations of the West Bank.

Sweden would like to be frugal with administrative costs within development assistance. But according to one new study from the Expert Group for Development Aid Analysis, frugality also leads to problems.

The report's author and professor of political science Daniel Tarschys writes a debate article about the study in Dagens Nyheter. He points out that what falls under "administration" is fundamental to the business, but it is often devalued or diminished in the debate. "Just the expertise means a lot for a successful assistance," writes Tarschys and adds: "Saving on ancillary functions and knowledge building easily leads to mistakes. There is much to suggest that the administrative share in development assistance is not too large, but on the contrary too small ”.

In Dagens ETC, the philosopher Astrid Paulsson argues for a global basic income to tackle the problems that come out of the corona crisis. She refers to the latest report from the World Food Program (WFP) which states that 300 people will starve to death every day the next three months, if not longer. This, argues Astrid Paulsson, is exactly why a global basic income needs to be put on the agenda. She believes that the crisis packages that are now being launched around the world show that there is money to deal with the crisis.

"Industrialized countries such as Sweden have the opportunity to strengthen their international humanitarian interventions, put a global base economy on the agenda, ensure that crisis packages are directed where they are most needed and be involved in strengthening societies' own strength to rise in difficult times we now face," writes Astrid Paulsson

Another issue that has been debated on Swedish opinion pages is Israel's plans for continued annexation of the West Bank. "The Israeli government is preparing for a violation of international law by annexing large parts of the West Bank. If Israel fulfills the plans, the EU must fundamentally reconsider its relationship with Israel ", write Ulf Bjereld and Thomas Hammarberg, Social Democrats for Faith and Solidarity, in Svenska Dagbladet.

In a similar vein, Evin Incir, Social Democrat MEP, writes in Expresssen: "Allowing Israel to proceed with the annexation plans means a major blow to the peace process". The debaters want Sweden and the EU to distance themselves from the annexations and take a leading role in the process of a two-state solution.

A selection of the last week's editorial and debate articles about Sweden's role in the world: 

Aid work

Put a global base income on the agenda
Astrid Paulsson, ETC.

The pursuit of bureaucracy can make aid less effective
Daniel Tarschys, Dagens Nyheter

Israel / Palestine

Israel is planning a violation of international law
Ulf Bjereld and Thomas Hammarberg, Svenska Dagbladet

The EU must take the lead in a two-state solution
Evin Incir, Expressen

The effects of the corona crisis in low- and middle-income countries

The conflict in Burma is escalating in the shadow of covid-19
Kristina Jelmin, The outside world

In large parts of the world, distancing is too costly
Björn Lomborg, Svenska Dagbladet

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