Where Does the Money Go? Best and Worst Practices in Foreign Aid
This paper does not address the issue of aid effectiveness -- that is, the extent to which foreign aid dollars actually achieve their goals -- but on "best practices" in the way in which official aid is given, an important component of the wider debate. First we discuss best practice for an ideal aid agency and the difficulties that aid agencies face because they are typically not accountable to their intended beneficiaries. Next we consider the transparency of aid agencies and four additional dimensions of aid practice: specialization, or the degree to which aid is not fragmented among too many donors, too many countries, and too many sectors for each donor); selectivity, or the extent to which aid avoids corrupt autocrats and goes to the poorest countries; use of ineffective aid channels such as tied aid, food aid, and technical assistance; and the overhead costs of aid agencies. We compare 48 aid agencies along these dimensions, distinguishing between bilateral and multilateral ones. Using the admittedly limited information we have, we rank the aid agencies on different dimensions of aid practice and then provide one final comprehensive ranking. We present these results as an illustrative exercise to move the aid discussion forward.
Volume (Year): 22 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
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References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alesina, Alberto & Dollar, David, 2000.
"Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?,"
Journal of Economic Growth,
Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 33-63, March.
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- Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
- Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Michael Kremer, 2006. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," CID Working Papers 138, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
- Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Kremer, Michael, 2007. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," CEPR Discussion Papers 6059, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Michael Kremer, 2006. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," NBER Technical Working Papers 0333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Martens,Bertin & Mummert,Uwe & Murrell,Peter & Seabright,Paul, 2008. "The Institutional Economics of Foreign Aid," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521055390.
- Martens,Bertin & Mummert,Uwe & Murrell,Peter & Seabright,Paul, 2002. "The Institutional Economics of Foreign Aid," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521808187, December.
- William Easterly, 2007. "Are aid agencies improving?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 633-678, October. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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