Aid for Trade at a Glance 2011

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This joint OECD-WTO publication provides a comprehensive analysis of trends and developments in aid that aims to help developing countries integrate into the global economy and benefit from trade opportunities. Over 260 case stories and 140 self-assessments by partner countries, bilateral and multilateral donor agencies, providers of South-South co-operation, and regional economic communities provide the basis for this analysis, coupled with OECD aid data and findings from evaluations and econometric studies.

The picture is positive: aid for trade is bettering the lives of many men and women in developing countries. The case stories paint an encouraging picture of the wide variety of trade-related activities in a large number of developing countries that are being supported by a range of donors. Increasingly, aid for trade is being integrated in broader development strategies, with objectives focusing on competitiveness, economic growth and poverty reduction. Donors are harmonising their procedures and aligning their support around these strategies. Aid-for-trade flows continue to grow and reached USD 40 billion in 2009 – an increase of 60% since 2005.


Developing countries and donors must continue their efforts to improve the effectiveness and the results of aid for trade. Although progress has been made in joint monitoring and evaluation, strengthening mutual accountability and managing aid to achieve trade results remain challenging. A joint, streamlined approach to measuring progress towards developing countries’ trade related targets will reinforce country ownership – a critical factor in ensuring that aid for trade enhances trade capacity and promotes economic growth and development.

English Also available in: Spanish, French

How is aid for trade delivered?

This chapter presents the findings of the 2011 aid-for-trade monitoring survey of donor and partner country adherence to these key aid effectiveness principles. More specifically, it assesses whether the delivery of aid for trade has improved since the previous survey in 2009. The commitment to the Paris principles by both partner countries and donors on aid for trade remains strong. Compared to the situation in 2009, the 2011 survey finds that country ownership over aid for trade has advanced the furthest among the five Paris principles. That is to say, many partner countries are mainstreaming trade into national development strategies. They are consulting broadly involving the private sector, civil society organisations and relevant government agencies to formulate trade strategies and priority project proposals. Donors continue to work towards harmonising their procedures and aligning their support around national priorities relating to trade. But progress appears to be uneven and partner countries note that more remains to be done, including addressing particular challenges in accessing aid for trade. Putting the aid effectiveness principles into practice necessitates continued attention and efforts. Donors and partner countries note that the challenges in delivering aid for trade effectively are not unique to this initiative, but are, in fact, part and parcel of the broader aid effectiveness agenda.


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