It is easy for me to agree with most of Naila Kabeer’s comments. In fact, it may be worth emphasising that albeit a constructive consensus was achieved among POVNET members on pro-poor growth and social protection, this does not mean that all our colleagues in the donor headquarters and country offices would understand – or agree with – what we have said and agreed in the POVNET. None of the donor agencies are internally completely coherent, and each agency has a more ‘economistic’ and a more ‘social’ face, depending on who represents the agency.
Kabeer rightly refers to the OECD as a ‘rich country club’. However, in this case, she is wrong in assuming that the intention of the POVNET members is to negotiate the ultimate ‘truths’, ‘wisdoms’ and ‘recipes’ about social protection first among the donor members, and only then to disseminate them to developing country partners as glossy and authoritative OECD Guidelines