The development business has become much more complex in the past decade, with actors proliferating and fragmenting. This trend is characteristic of the change from collective action to what the authors term hypercollective action. Such a shift brings new energy and resources to international development, but also more difficulty managing global public policy.
Severino and Ray use the lessons of the Paris Declaration—the first large-scale effort to coordinate hypercollective action—as a starting point for envisioning a new conceptual framework to manage the complexity of current international collaboration. They offer concrete suggestions to improve the management of global policies, including new ways to share information, align the goals of disparate actors, and create more capable bodies for international collaboration.
This paper is part of in the Innovations in Aid series, commissioned by CGD president Nancy Birdsall to share new ways of thinking about aid and the aid system. From its inception, the Center for Global Development has made its mark on issues of aid and aid effectiveness. Many of our staff and non-resident fellows—Owen Barder, Michael Clemens, William Easterly, Carol Lancaster, Ruth Levine, Todd Moss, Mead Over, Steve Radelet, David Roodman, Arvind Subramanian, and CGD president Nancy Birdsall—have been key contributors to a lively debate on the question of whether and how aid and the aid system work. The goal of the Innovations in Aid series is to speed and broaden access to new ideas and contribute to more effective aid programs.