The Economist on improving the quality of aid

The Economist highlights the importance of improving the way aid is given:

Because the aid they receive is such a capricious, volatile commodity, governments dare not make full use of it. They could hire legions of extra teachers, clinicians and civil servants, but only if they are prepared to fire them when the aid spigot is closed. They could put AIDS-sufferers on anti-retroviral therapies, but only if they are willing to discontinue treatment once the money stops.

The article explains why the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness is such an important step towards reducing the costs of aid to beneficiaries and donors alike, and so greatly improving the effectiveness with which aid is used.

It is a rare pleasure to read this well-informed comment about the need for donors to align their aid with the systems they are trying to support, to make aid more predictable, less likely to undermined domestic accountability and to duplicate each other less.

Published by Owen Barder

Owen is Senior Fellow and Director for Europe at the Center for Global Development and a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics. Owen was a civil servant for a quarter of a century, working in Number 10, the Treasury and the Department for International Development. Owen hosts the Development Drums podcast, and is the author Running for Fitness, the book and website. Owen is on Twitter and

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