Easterly, William and Williamson, Claudia R. (2011): Rhetoric versus reality: the best and worst of aid agency practices. Published in: World Development , Vol. 39, No. 11 (2011): pp. 1930-1949.
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Foreign aid critics, supporters, recipients, and donors have produced eloquent rhetoric on the need for better aid practices— has this translated into reality? This paper attempts to monitor the best and worst of aid practices among bilateral, multilateral, and UN agencies. We create aid practice measures based on aid transparency, specialization, selectivity, ineffective aid channels, and overhead costs. We rate donor agencies from best to worst on aid practices. We find that the UK does well among bilateral agencies, the US is below average, and Scandinavian donors do surprisingly poorly. The biggest difference is between the UN agencies, who mostly rank in the bottom half of donors, and everyone else. Average performance of all agencies on transparency, fragmentation, and selectivity is still very poor. The paper also assesses trends in best practices over time—we find modest improvement in transparency and more in moving away from ineffective channels. However, we find no evidence of improvements (and partial evidence of worsening) in specialization, fragmentation, and selectivity, despite escalating rhetoric to the contrary.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Rhetoric versus reality: the best and worst of aid agency practices|
|Keywords:||foreign aid; best practices; transparency; bureaucracy; incentives|
|Subjects:||O - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development
F - International Economics > F3 - International Finance > F35 - Foreign Aid
|Depositing User:||William Easterly|
|Date Deposited:||31. May 2012 15:40|
|Last Modified:||12. Feb 2013 13:10|
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