The consensus on aid that emerged in the 1990s - and was enshrined in the 2005 Paris Declaration - transformed international thinking about how aid should be delivered and managed. But recent shifts in the global economy and political spheres have put aid back under the spotlight. As donor priorities and partner government needs change, aid policy is a more contentious issue than perhaps ever before.
The demand for robust evaluation of aid programmes and approaches has never been higher – particularly given the emphasis currently placed by donors on measuring and demonstrating the impact of their investment. From reviews of specific programmes to long-term evaluations of the effectiveness of a country’s aid strategy, OPM can provide the rigour and insight donors need.
The Paris Declaration was a landmark event in the international development field, bringing together the experiences of the previous decade into a set of internationally agreed principles to underpin aid approaches. However, embedding those principles has proved to be a difficult task, especially in the changing global context and with the emergence of non-OECD donors, some with very different visions of aid and partnership.
With a growing body of evidence to indicate their effectiveness, aid modalities such as budget support - which give partner countries greater control over the aid they receive - are the operational embodiment of the Paris principles of ownership and alignment. But in implementing them, a balance must be struck between donors’ desire for accountability and the country government’s priorities. This requires a process of careful design to ensure the right controls and measures are put in place.