As Ministers, heads of international organisations, civil society actors, private sector representatives and parliamentarians from around the world prepare for the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to be held in Busan, Korea (29 November to 1 December 2011), one central question emerges: have global commitments to make aid more effective been implemented?
In 2005, over 100 donors and developing countries committed to make aid more effective in supporting the achievement of development results when they agreed to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. One of the distinguishing features of the Paris Declaration was the commitment to hold each other to account for implementing its principles at the country level through a set of clear indicators, with targets to be achieved by 2010. To what extent have the commitments been realised? Is aid being delivered in a more effective way than five years ago? This report provides some answers to these questions.
Overview of findings
Five years after the endorsement of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness – a landmark agreement to improve the quality and, in turn, impact of aid – has progress been made in implementing the Paris Declaration and the subsequent Accra Agenda for Action? Have donors and partner countries delivered on their commitments? How do donors and partner countries differ in their implementation of the Paris Declaration? How is progress assessed, and what are the limitations to the approach used? This chapter responds to these questions, drawing on evidence generated through the 2011 Survey on Monitoring the Paris Declaration and other relevant sources to offer a concise overview of the findings that are explained in more detail in subsequent chapters.
Ownership of development policies and strategies
The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness placed partner countries’ ownership of policies and programmes at the centre of an international reform agenda to make aid more effective. The subsequent Accra Agenda for Action reflected a broadening and deepening of international commitments in this area, considering in greater detail the role of a range of development actors going beyond the state. Has partner country leadership over development policies and strategies improved since 2005? To what extent has the quality of national development strategies improved, and are local governments, parliaments and civil society organisations more involved in policy processes in developing countries? Are efforts being made to promote demand-driven capacity development, and are issues of gender equality better addressed through development policies and strategies? This chapter draws on a range of evidence, including the results of the 2011 Survey on Monitoring the Paris Declaration, to answer these important questions.
Alignment of aid with country priorities and systems
Alignment – one of the five principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness – refers to the provision of aid by donors in ways that respond to partner countries’ development priorities, supporting and using partner countries’ own systems and institutions. The Accra Agenda for Action placed greater emphasis on the systematic use of country systems by donors and the provision of support to partner countries in strengthening these systems. This chapter reviews the progress made and challenges encountered in implementing the Paris and Accra commitments that relate to alignment. Drawing on evidence from the 2011 Survey on Monitoring the Paris Declaration and other relevant evidence, it documents progress and challenges in the alignment of aid to partner countries’ policies and strategies; the alignment of conditions associated with aid; the extent to which partner countries’ own systems have improved since 2005, and in turn whether donors are implementing their commitments on the use of country systems, as well as efforts towards aid untying.
Harmonisation of donor practices
The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness recognised that the multitude of donor approaches to providing and managing aid could result in unnecessary duplication of efforts and a greater burden on partner countries that have to deal with a wide range of policies and procedures. The Accra Agenda for Action went further by committing donors and developing countries to work together to reduce aid fragmentation both within and across developing countries. Have donors made progress in working with each other? To what extent have the commitments on the use of common arrangements, the co-ordination of technical co-operation, donor missions and analytic works set out in the Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action been implemented? Have donors made efforts to reduce the fragmentation of aid, including through the adoption of an appropriate division of labour at both the country and global levels? This chapter offers answers to these questions, drawing on the results of the 2011 Survey on Monitoring the Paris Declaration.
Aid predictability and transparency
The importance of predictability and transparency in aid relationships was highlighted in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. The Accra Agenda for Action placed further emphasis on the need for progress in these important areas. To what extent is aid predictable? Have commitments to improve the predictability of aid in the short- and medium-term been implemented? To what extent are commitments on transparency – including around aid conditionality – being implemented? Is corruption being addressed by developed and developing countries? This chapter provides answers to these questions, reviewing relevant evidence and drawing on the findings of the 2011 Survey on Monitoring the Paris Declaration.
Results and mutual accountability
The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness called for stronger management for development results alongside efforts to strengthen mutual (donor-partner country) accountability. This chapter reviews the evidence on the implementation of these two Paris principles. It details the progress made in promoting management for development results, including through improved performance assessment frameworks, statistical systems and statistics, and efforts to both strengthen and make greater use of partner country systems for results management. It also reviews the evidence on progress in strengthening and deepening mutual accountability, drawing on evidence from the 2011 Survey on Monitoring the Paris Declaration and other relevant sources.
Experience in monitoring the effectiveness of aid
Why monitor aid effectiveness? How was the 2011 Survey on Monitoring the Paris Declaration conducted, and who participated in the process? What other initiatives have contributed to a growing global evidence base of what works and what does not to help make aid more effective? This chapter answers these questions, highlighting the importance of monitoring the effectiveness of aid as a means of strengthening learning and supporting accountability. Since its inception in 2005, the international framework used to monitor the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness has been applied in a growing number of countries, and has also informed the development of a number of complementary initiatives which are outlined in this chapter.
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