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Making aid effective for MDGs

Sep 05, 2008

OECD’s new publication Reaching Our Development Goals: Why Does Aid Effectiveness Matter? provides a practical roadmap for effective utilisation of aid for development. The booklet urges both donors and developing countries to realign their goals and be accountable to the people by improving the quality and quantity of aid.

Reaching Our Development Goals: Why Does Aid Effectiveness Matter?

Publisher: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), July 2008

This booklet aims to stimulate dialogue around the aid reform effort embodied by the Paris Declaration (2005) on Aid Effectiveness.

When countries agreed that the Millennium Development Goals should be achieved by 2015, a bargain was struck: while developing countries would have primary responsibility for achieving the Goals, donor countries would have a particularly important role to play in supporting a global partnership for development.

In March 2005, senior officials from over one hundred aid receiving countries and donor agencies met in Paris to take concrete steps to increase the effectiveness of aid. The concrete steps they agreed on are set out in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

In September 2008, ministers, heads of development agencies and civil society organisations from around the world will gather in Accra, Ghana for the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.

At Accra they will be looking for ways to resolve pressing concerns, including country leadership, capacity development and the predictability of aid. Civil society organisations from across the globe will also be lobbying for reforms in aid policies and more accountability for the use of resources.

Their common objective will be to make aid more effective in helping countries achieve their own development goals.

This booklet reflects that process, bringing together a range of voices on aid and its quality.

This includes commitments to increase both the quantity of aid to developing countries, and to improve its quality.

The Accra Forum will agree on an Accra Agenda for Action—a concrete set of measures designed to accelerate movement toward agreed development goals.

It will be closely followed by the UN’s International Conference on Financing for Development (Doha, Qatar, November 2008) providing the international community with a unique opportunity to improve the quality and quantity of aid.

Donors build their aid programmes around a series of stand-alone projects that are designed, implemented and managed by the donor; they don’t result in sustainable development.

A donor-driven aid programme diminishes the accountability of the governments to their citizens.

The booklet lays down five principles for the countries and organisations that endorsed the Paris Declaration to improve aid effectiveness by tackling issues that have hampered development for decades:

Ownership: Developing countries set their own strategies for development, improve their institutions and tackle corruption.

Alignment: Donor countries bring their support in line with these objectives and use local systems.

Harmonisation: Donor countries co-ordinate their action, simplify procedures and share information to avoid duplication.

Managing for results: Developing countries and donors focus on producing—and measuring—results.

Mutual accountability: Donor and developing country partners are accountable for development results.

The achievement of MDGs requires the governments in developing countries to take full responsibility for the commitments they made to their own populations under the Millennium Declaration.

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