Better Aid

ISSN :
2074-3599 (online)
ISSN :
2074-3602 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/20743599
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This series of books examines strategies for making aid more effective.
Also available in: French
 
Aid Effectiveness

Aid Effectiveness

A Progress Report on Implementing the Paris Declaration You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
OECD
Publication Date :
02 Feb 2009
Pages :
176
ISBN :
9789264050877 (PDF) ; 9789264050860 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264050877-en

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The 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness defines the principles and commitments by which donors and developing countries intend to ensure that aid is as effective as possible in contributing to the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development objectives. This report is a mid-term review of progress towards these commitments, drawing on the 2008 Paris Declaration Monitoring Survey and the Evaluation Synthesis Report among many other sources.

Part I highlights the main actionable lessons and messages emerging from the analysis of progress to date. Part II covers the commitments under the five Partnership Principles related to ownership, alignment, harmonisation, development results and mutual accountability, together with four subjects of critical relevance: sector perspectives, the role of civil society organisations, situations of fragility and conflict, and the changing aid architecture.

Also available in: French

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    List of Abbreviations
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    Executive Summary
    The report is a mid-term review of progress made by donors and partners in implementing the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Part I highlights some of the main political messages requiring attention by Ministers at the 2008 Accra High Level Forum. Drawing on evidence from Part II and notably the 2008 evaluation synthesis and the monitoring survey, Part I emphasises in particular that good progress is being made in some important respects, but speeding up implementation will be key to meeting the 2010 targets. This will require increased political leadership and the involvement of wider groups beyond governments and official donors. Patterns of behaviour and aid management practices will only change if the underlying incentives shift. While the principles of the Paris Declaration are largely validated including the centrality of partner country ownership, new dilemmas and tasks are emerging. These are highlighted in Part II of the report.
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    Main Messages
    The report is a mid-term review of progress made by donors and partners in implementing the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Part I highlights some of the main political messages requiring attention by Ministers at the 2008 Accra High Level Forum. Drawing on evidence from Part II and notably the 2008 evaluation synthesis and the monitoring survey, Part I emphasises in particular that good progress is being made in some important respects, but speeding up implementation will be key to meeting the 2010 targets. This will require increased political leadership and the involvement of wider groups beyond governments and official donors. Patterns of behaviour and aid management practices will only change if the underlying incentives shift. While the principles of the Paris Declaration are largely validated including the centrality of partner country ownership, new dilemmas and tasks are emerging. These are highlighted in Part II of the report.
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    Ownership
    There is evidence that national development strategies have been strengthened since 2005, and the principle of partner ownership has gained greater prominence and acceptance. However, this chapter emphasises that while ownership has increased, it often remains narrowly based within partner countries. There is a generalised weakness in making national strategies operational (in particular in linking the vision to budgets and to operational measures), and in strengthening results-orientation. While there are signs of progress towards fulfilling the Paris Declaration commitments on ownership, it is uneven among partners and donors. If current trends continue, the 2010 targets will not be fully achieved. Many partners and donors call for clearer definition and measurement of ownership, tailored to local conditions.
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    Alignment Using National Development Strategies and Country Systems
    For aid to be effective, partners must develop credible national development strategies, and donors must support and use strengthened country systems. The mutual commitments involved create a large agenda for partners and donors: major efforts are under way to deliver on it. While in very broad terms there are significant advances in many areas, this chapter stresses that acceleration will be needed to reach the 2010 targets. In particular, donors must step up efforts to support country systems and to use them recognising that using them can help to strengthen them. 
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    Harmonisation
    This chapter underlines that aid can be more effective when donors adopt common procedures to harmonise aid delivery, including using common approaches, reducing fragmentation and rationalising the division of labour. There is evidence of a modest increase in the use of programme-based approaches, although further effort will be needed. It should be noted here that the goal of the Paris Declaration is not to remove all funding for projects, but rather to use the optimal combination of instruments for each country situation. To share analysis, donors have started working together at reducing the number of separate, duplicative, missions to the field and diagnostic reviews. Difficult though it is, many donors are also increasingly seeking a better division of labour with others and have launched – with partner country consultation – a number of activities to bring it about. 
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    Managing for Development Results
    In part as a result of the late start and inherent difficulties of MfDR, a necessary condition for making progress has been to raise awareness and exchange information on best practices. Progress against MfDR commitments themselves is moderately encouraging. Strong progress has been achieved in particular countries and sectors. A number of countries are also working to improve their monitoring frameworks. However, relatively few countries have quality results-oriented strategies, and only a few donors rely on these countries’ results and monitoring frameworks. There is a call for more definitional clarity, accelerated construction of monitoring frameworks and greater agreement on how to strengthen systems. 
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    Mutual Accountability
    The Paris Declaration calls upon donors and partners to be mutually accountable for development results. Individual and joint actions can create and reinforce shared agendas by building trust, shifting incentives towards results, embedding common values, deepening responsibilities and strengthening partnerships. Progress towards mutual accountability has been slow, when gauged by the number of partner countries that undertake mutual assessments of progress in implementing agreed commitments on aid effectiveness. This may be in part because mutual accountability is a relatively new principle, and is demanding of capacity. However, despite the undeveloped nature of the mutual accountability system as a whole, more pieces of the solution are actually at hand than is generally assumed, and a range of mechanisms make contributions toward fulfilling this commitment. 
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    Sector Perspectives
    Applying the principles of the Paris Declaration at the level of sectors is critical to maximising the impact of aid and achieving development objectives. This chapter presents the special efforts that are being made in particular in health, education, agriculture, infrastructure and aid for trade.
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    The Roles of Civil Society Organisations in Making Aid Effective
    As well as providing services and funding development, this chapter highlights how civil society organisations (CSOs) are fundamental to good governance and accountability to citizens. CSOs were only included to a very limited degree in the preparatory processes for the first and second High-Level Forums in Rome and Paris, but the greater recognition now of the multiple linkages between CSOs and the aid effectiveness agenda led to the establishment of the Advisory Group on Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness, and to the participation of CSOs as central players in the 2008 HLF. 
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    Situations of Fragility and Conflict
    This chapter shows how situations of fragility and conflict pose specific challenges for development and effective use of aid. In these situations, the Paris Declaration principles need to be complemented by the DAC principles for "good international engagement in fragile states and situations" and adapted to the specific contexts. Whole-of-government approaches are crucial. At the policy level, there has been significant progress over the past three years. DAC members have adopted the principles for good international engagement in fragile states and situations, and the European Union, the World Bank and others have endorsed these principles. Many policy statements acknowledge the challenge of peace-building and state-building, the importance of political settlement, elite negotiations and broad-based reconciliation, and also that in some cases it may take generations to make meaningful progress. Recognising this, whole-of-government strategies and mechanisms have been established, along with tools such as shadow and partial alignment.
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    Implications of the Changing Aid Architecture
    This chapter reviews how providers of development assistance beyond the DAC are increasingly recognised for bringing innovative partnerships including south-south and triangular co-operation and experiences that could enrich the global reflection on how to improve the effectiveness of development co-operation. It also highlights how global programmes and funds can effectively complement multilateral and bilateral country programmes to achieve specific development objectives, and efforts are currently under way to better integrate their assistance at the country level. However, as new global challenges emerge, partners and donors should think carefully before creating separate channels; priority should be given to channelling these new funds through existing mechanisms rather than creating new ones that would risk increasing fragmentation at the country level. A balance should also be maintained between funding for targeted mechanisms, and for those with a broader remit to build the capacity of systems as a whole.
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    Annex I
    We, Ministers of developed and developing countries responsible for promoting development and Heads of multilateral and bilateral development institutions, meeting in Paris on 2 March 2005, resolve to take far-reaching and monitorable actions to reform the ways we deliver and manage aid as we look ahead to the UN five-year review of the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) later this year. As in Monterrey, we recognise that while the volumes of aid and other development resources must increase to achieve these goals, aid effectiveness must increase significantly as well to support partner country efforts to strengthen governance and improve development performance. This will be all the more important if existing and new bilateral and multilateral initiatives lead to significant further increases in aid.
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    Annex II
    Ministers of developing and donor countries responsible for promoting development and Heads of multilateral and bilateral development institutions endorsed the following statement in Accra, Ghana, on 4 September 2008 to accelerate and deepen implementation of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2 March 2005).
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