Friday, 5 September 2008

Time to turn donors' words on aid effectiveness into action

Tortuous negotiations end with some important steps on predictability, use of country systems and aid transparency, but much remains to be done.

After tortuous negotiations at the just concluded 3rd high level forum on aid effectiveness in Africa taking place in Accra, ministers from developed and developing countries have greed on some important steps to improve aid effectiveness.

"There is a growing consensus about what we need to do to make aid more effective. The task is to do it," said Oliver Buston from ONE. "Each donor country should produce a plan to implement this agenda immediately."

For developing countries, the Accra Agenda for Action on aid effectiveness (AAA) should provide more opportunity to hold donors accountable at country level, although lack of clear delivery dates for many reforms leaves much work to be done.

Progress made in Accra includes:
• Predictability: Donors have agreed, from now, to provide regular and timely information on 3-5 year expenditure and implementation plans that developing countries can integrate in their medium term planning and macroeconomic frameworks.
• Use of Country Systems: Donors have made specific commitments to use developing countries' own systems for delivering aid. Donors have also agreed to align their monitoring of aid flows and results with country information systems to make it much easier to compare and evaluate results.
• Aid transparency: Donors have agreed to make aid more transparent, reinforced by the launch of the International Aid Transparency Initiative.

In addition to these measures, donors have acknowledged the problem of donor 'orphans' and 'darlings'. Recipient countries will also be included in existing donor review mechanisms.

In the USA, the presidential election provides an exciting window of opportunity to make the delivery of American aid as effective as possible. There is already a rich debate both inside and outside the government about this issue and ONE intends to play its part.

About ONE

ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organization dedicated to ending extreme poverty around the globe, with a special focus on Africa. ONE is backed by 2.4 million people from all around the world.

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