Budgeting in Postconflict Countries

Anwar Shah

How should public expenditure management be approached in post-conflict countries? What are the differences between budgeting in post-conflict and in stable developing countries? This book chapter from the World Bank recommends making post-conflict reforms simple and adapted to critical capacity lack in transitional governments. Immediate reconstruction needs should be balanced ...» more

Bridging the Macro-Micro Gap: Micro-Meso-Macro Linkages in the Context of Sector-Wide Approaches

Ellen van Reesch

How can sector-wide approaches be better implemented? The shift in aid delivery from donor-led projects to supporting sector programmes in partner countries (Sector-Wide Approach, SWAp) has contributed to an increase in funding for social service delivery and better management capacity at the national level. However, the positive impact at the local level is as yet less ...» more

Federalism, Sub-national Financing and Aid Effectiveness

J Eldon, C Waddington

The success of federal nations in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) depends largely on the development of efficient fiscal federalism and intergovernmental fiscal transfers (IGFTs). Using examples from Ethiopia, Nigeria and Pakistan, this HLSP Institute technical approach paper explores the extent to which development partners make, or could make, effective use of ...» more

DFID Budget Support to Sierra Leone, 2004 – 2007: Achievements & Lessons

A Lawson

How can the management of General Budget Support (GBS) to Sierra Leone (SL) be improved? This report from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) assesses the results of the 2001-2006 GBS-SL programme and offers recommendations for future programme policy. Whilst it has yielded genuine benefits, donor management of the GBS-SL has created unnecessary domestic borrowing costs ...» more

The Paris Declaration in Practice: A Review of Guiding Documents in Sector Programmes

C Salomonsson, M Schmidt

To what extent do the key guiding documents of the SWAp (Sector-wide Approach) and its financing mechanisms support the objectives for aid effectiveness stated in the Paris declaration? This review from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) aims to help international development partners approach, use, and improve the guiding documents. It identifies a number of ...» more

Flexible SWAps for Strategic Policy-making: Reflections on the Zambian Experience

J K van Donge

To what extent can rigid policy-making, rooted in universal standards like the OECD’s Paris Agenda, meet the needs of development? This article published in the Development Policy Review examines the emergence of flexible Sector-Wide Approaches (SWAps) in Zambia since the early 1990s. Whilst the Zambian case is not meant as a prescriptive ideal of best practice, a flexible ...» more

The Bangladesh Health SWAp: Experience of a New Aid Instrument in Practice

H White

Are Sector-wide Approaches (SWAps) fulfilling their promise of encouraging government ownership of aid? This study published in the Development Policy Review examines this question in the context of the Bangladesh health sector programme, arguably the world’s oldest and largest SWAp. On the whole, the Bangladesh health SWAp has positively affected government processes and ...» more

Harmonization and Alignment: The Double-edge Swords of Budget Support and Decentralized Aid Administration

O Winckler Andersen, O Therkildsen

What are the impacts of the harmonisation and alignment of aid on transaction costs and local ownership? How can we analyse the extent to which various policy instruments lead to improvements in harmonisation and alignment? This working paper from the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) argues that the 'partnership' perspective which underpins much of the thinking ...» more

SWAps and Justice

There is a good range of material on lessons learned from SWAPs, primarily from the health and education sectors. Most of the resources mention the need for country ownership of the SWAP, gender mainstreaming and long-term support that is tailored to the country context. Other repeated advice is to ‘go slowly’, focus on capacity building and to involve the Ministry of Finance ...» more

Aid Effectiveness – Opening the Black Box

F Bourguignon, M Sundberg

What explains how and why development aid is effective? The empirical literature on aid effectiveness has yielded unclear and ambiguous results. This World Bank paper examines the causality chain linking aid flows to development outcomes. Opening the ‘black box’ of the causality chain allows analysis of the relationships between policies and outcomes, policy makers and ...» more

Aid, Budgets and Accountability: A Survey Article

P de Renzio

How successful are General Budget Support (GBS) and Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms in increasing aid efficacy? This paper from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) surveys the literature on GBS and PFM in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite their emphasis on recipient government ownership and donor co-ordination, GBS programmes and PFM reform efforts have had a limited ...» more

The Aid ‘Darlings’ and ‘Orphans’ of the Great Lakes Region in Africa

S Marysse et al

How does selective allocation of Official Developmental Assistance (ODA) affect developing countries? This discussion paper from the Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB) at the University of Antwerp looks at the consequences of aid flows in the Great Lakes Region in Africa. The 'aid darling' status of Rwanda and 'aid orphan' status of Zaire/DR Congo and Burundi ...» more

DFID Country Programme Evaluations Synthesis of 2005/2006 Evaluation

J Barr, C Barnett

What lessons can be learnt from the way DFID plans and executes its country strategies? This synthesis report from DFID's Evaluation Department and ITAD draws on 2005/06 DFID Country Programme Evaluations (CPEs) from Bangladesh, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique and Rwanda. Whilst DFID is considered a valued and influential development partner in these countries, improvements could be ...» more

Does the Country-led Approach Deliver Results?

M Cox, N Thornton, C Cameron

The introduction of the Country Led Approach (CLA) in the mid-1990s represented an important reorientation in development practice. CLA is accepted internationally and reflected in the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, but does it work? This desk review from Agulhas examines CLA effectiveness in countries where its implementation is relatively advanced. It highlights ...» more

Beyond the Numbers: Understanding the Institutions for Monitoring Poverty Reduction Strategies

T Bedi, A Coudouel

Monitoring systems are central to the effective design and implementation of a Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). Many existing PRS monitoring systems lack coordination and a coherent institutional framework linking monitoring and decision making. This World Bank report draws on 12 country studies to conclude that PRS monitoring systems should build on existing elements to begin ...» more

A Primer on Foreign Aid

S Radelet

What are the key trends and objectives in the provision of aid? How does aid impact upon economic growth? How might aid flows exhibit better accountability and foster stronger growth? This paper from the Centre for Global Development takes an overview of the main debates on aid. It argues that donors’ motivations are sometimes unrelated to economic development, that aid has a ...» more

Eliminating World Poverty: Making Governance Work for the Poor


In 2005, rich and poor countries promised more and better aid. Whilst there has been progress, much remains to be done. This White Paper, by the Department for International Development, sets out how the UK government will work with others to deliver these promises. It outlines key commitments in relation to building states that work for the poor, helping people get security, ...» more

The Implications of Horizontal Inequality for Aid

G Brown, F Stewart

How should the reduction of horizontal inequalities (HIs) inform aid policy in culturally diverse countries? This paper from the Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity outlines the various instruments and outcomes of aid policies aimed at addressing HIs. Drawing on case studies from Ghana and Nepal, it argues that donors must make reducing HIs a more ...» more

Will ‘Emerging Donors’ Change the Face of International Co-operation?

R Manning

Will the recent (re-)emergence of new international donors change the way official development assistance (ODA) is provided? What opportunities and risks will this new development landscape present? This article from the Development Policy Review analyses recent trends in the sources of development assistance and makes short-term projections of future aid flows. It argues that ...» more