In 2008, Ireland's net ODA was USD 1.33 billion, an increase of 6.7% in real terms from 2007. ODA as a proportion of GNI rose from 0.55% in 2007 to 0.59% in 2008.
Reform for implementing the aid effectiveness agenda
The recently approved Management Review of Irish Aid includes recommendations for strengthening institutional capacity for effective delivery, accountability and oversight. This will help Irish Aid implement the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA). Ireland's plan for implementing the AAA includes concrete actions for every section of the organisation. A new training strategy focuses on the skills needed to operate effectively in the new aid environment. Ireland's results-based country strategy paper guidelines and mid-term review methodology are fully aligned with the effectiveness commitments. Funding appraisals now require partners to plan, implement and review their interventions in line with the AAA. Ireland has signed up to the International Aid Transparency Initiative and is working with other donors, partner countries and civil society to improve the quality and timeliness of information on development assistance.
Challenges in implementing the aid effectiveness agenda
Simplifying the aid effectiveness language and communicating clearly how this new way of working will lead to a sustainable improvement in the lives of the poor. Communicating joint results and Ireland's contribution to progress on the MDGs also requires further attention. Embedding a communications focus within country strategies, linked to results, could provide incentives to implement the AAA.
Ensuring the aid effectiveness agenda includes multilateral engagement and support to civil society. This will be addressed by Ireland's Accra Implementation Plan. Implementing the Accra commitments in fragile states is a particular challenge.
Ensuring that commitments made on the division of labour at country level are backed by appropriate human resource policies is central to operating in a post-Accra world.