Hudson Institute released the Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances for 2009. The full report and executive summary are available. Once again, the Index shows that Remittances are a larger percentage of U.S. Economic Engagement in Developing Countries than Official Development Assistance and Private Philanthropy. Private capital flows are slightly higher.
The Index confirms that Remittances will continue to increase in significance:
Despite the economic downturn in 2008, remittances to the developing world still grew nine percent to an estimated $305 billion. Only in the beginning of 2009 did remittances begin to decline, but the World Bank
projects remittance fl ows to developing countries will fall by only 5–8 percent in 2009. Thus, as private capital flows decline in 2009, the more resilient remittance flows, along with philanthropic donations, will continue to be critical lifelines to help developing countries weather the economic storm.
A slightly different take on global philanthropy was addressed at the Global Philanthropy Forum by Peter Buffett of the Novo Foundation, in that we must avoid “philanthropic colonialism”. It’s a smart perspective that we should keep talking about – and share ways to avoid the pitfalls of short-term projects and neglecting local needs.
The Forum also highlighted a Track II Diplomacy discussion on Iran with a panel from both diplomacy and philanthropy. I’m always on the look out for overlaps between my two favorite disciplines.