Better Results? Value for money assessments of aid

OPM authors/contact
David Hoole
OPM Working paper
September 2012

Value for Money (VFM) is moving rapidly up the agendas of many aid agencies, particularly in the wake of the financial crisis which has brought sharper public and political scrutiny of aid budgets. VFM is typically understood in terms of an evaluation of whether aid has been well spent. However, the approach also lends itself to the design of aid programmes and to improving their performance in implementation. But difficulties in applying the approach to international aid need to be addressed if these benefits are to be realised fully. This paper summarises the advantages of VFM, its main components, and the hurdles which stand in the way of its effective use in aid programmes.