Population growth problem in developing countries: coordinated assistance essential, Report to the Congress of the United States by the Comptroller General.
This document argues that a formal coordinating mechanism should be established to oversee the increasing bilateral and multilateral assistance funds being channeled into population activities in developing countries. Effective coordination is needed, according to the General Accounting Office, to ensure that funds are applied to the highest priorities, to maximize efficiency of country programs, and to take advantage of opportunities of cost reduction. The report is based on visits to 6 countries including Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Thailand, and interviews with U.S. ambassadors, AID mission directors, officials of donor organizations and host governments, and visits to headquarters of voluntary organizations and the 3 principal donors of population assistance. Viewpoints of the officials and agencies contacted and provisions for coordination within country programs are described. In-country coordination was found to consist largely of informal discussion among field representatives, officials of several voluntary organizations warned that overdeveloped coordination would be counterproductive, and officials of AID, the World Bank, and UNFPA, the main donors, felt that obstacles in the way of greater coordination were many. The GAO was unable to identify instances of unproductive duplication.