Making Development Assistance Work Better

December 1, 2011

In 2005, through the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the international community accepted ambitious commitments to improve the impact of development assistance. Today, important questions emerge: to what extent have these commitments been implemented? Is aid being delivered in a more effective way?

In 2008, the Accra Agenda for Action called for greater focus on country ownership, accountability and transparency, and inclusive partnerships. Globally, progress has been made but more needs to be done. In general, the governments of developing countries have gone further than donors in implementing their commitments, though efforts and progress vary. At the country level, aid effectiveness efforts have had wider impact on institutions and, in turn, on development results.

Since 2005, the Paris principles have been adapted by a growing number of stakeholders, including civil society and parliaments, to specific needs and situations. However, efforts to meet the needs of the poorest people must be stepped up. Aid is only one element of the development process; the Paris principles are also applicable to other development efforts, such as South-South cooperation. The Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (Busan, Korea, Nov. 29 – Dec. 1, 2011), should forge deeper political commitment and identify concrete follow-through actions. The post-Busan agenda should ensure that aid supports development priorities, especially the Millennium Development Goals.

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