IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Dimensionner l'aide au développement : ce que nous enseigne l'évaluation. Dimensioning Development Aid: Some Lessons from Evaluation

  • Ruerd RUBEN
Registered author(s):

    Most discussions on the development effectiveness of aid tend to focus on aggregate flows and neglect the various categories of aid and different aid delivery mechanisms. We emphasise, however, that the key question is not whether aid works, but which aid works. The potential effects ? both beneficial and adverse ? of aid appear to be mainly the consequence of how aid is provided. This paper therefore addresses two questions: which aid works and how aid is delivered. These issues are becoming increasingly relevant given the declining societal trust in public aid and against the background of the growing interests in the new aid architecture. We discuss three basic, albeit usually underestimated aspects that critically influence development effectiveness: (a) resource complementarities between different programme components, (b) substitution effects between different activities, and (c) spillover effects that influence aid effectiveness at aggregate level. We present some empirical examples of these mechanisms and indicate their particular relevance for the new types of institutional arrangements that characterise upcoming reforms of the international aid architecture (public-private partnerships, multi-donor trust funds and civil society support funds).

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: restricted

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: restricted

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by De Boeck Université in its journal Revue d'économie du développement.

    Volume (Year): 20 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 95-123

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:cai:edddbu:edd_264_0095
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 65 Bd. F. Mitterrand, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand
    Phone: (33-4) 73 17 74 00
    Fax: (33-4) 73 17 74 28
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    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.:

    as in new window
    1. Daniel O. Gilligan & John Hoddinott, 2007. "Is There Persistence in the Impact of Emergency Food Aid? Evidence on Consumption, Food Security, and Assets in Rural Ethiopia," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(2), pages 225-242.
    2. Paul A. Raschky & Manijeh Schwindt, 2010. "On the Channel and Type of Aid: The Case of International Disaster Assistance," Monash Economics Working Papers 06-10, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    3. Kremer, Michael Robert & Miguel, Edward A. & Thorton, Rebecca L, 2004. "Incentives to Learn," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt9kc4p47q, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    4. Christian Lessmann & Gunther Markwardt, 2010. "Decentralization and Foreign Aid Effectiveness: Do Aid Modality and Federal Design Matter in Poverty Alleviation?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3035, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Paul A. Raschky & Manijeh Schwindt, . "Aid, Catastrophes and the Samaritan's Dilemma," Working Papers 2008-06, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    6. Stephen Knack, 2001. "Aid Dependence and the Quality of Governance: Cross-Country Empirical Tests," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 310-329, October.
    7. Howard White, 1993. "Aid and government: A dynamic model of aid, income and fiscal behaviour," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(3), pages 305-312, 05.
    8. George Mavrotas, 2005. "Aid heterogeneity: looking at aid effectiveness from a different angle," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(8), pages 1019-1036.
    9. Ruben, Ruerd & Fort, Ricardo, 2012. "The Impact of Fair Trade Certification for Coffee Farmers in Peru," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 570-582.
    10. Blalock, Garrick & Gertler, Paul J., 2008. "Welfare gains from Foreign Direct Investment through technology transfer to local suppliers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 402-421, March.
    11. Peter Nunnenkamp & Hannes Öhler, 2009. "Aid Allocation through Various Official and Private Channels: Need, Merit and Self-Interest as Motives of German Donors," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 16, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    12. Feyzioglu, Tarhan & Swaroop, Vinaya & Zhu, Min, 1998. "A Panel Data Analysis of the Fungibility of Foreign Aid," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(1), pages 29-58, January.
    13. Getaw Tadesse & Gerald Shively, 2009. "Food Aid, Food Prices, and Producer Disincentives in Ethiopia," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(4), pages 942-955.
    14. Michael P. Shields, 2007. "Foreign Aid And Domestic Savings: The Crowding Out Effect," Monash Economics Working Papers 35-07, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    15. Havranek, Tomas & Irsova, Zuzana, 2011. "Estimating vertical spillovers from FDI: Why results vary and what the true effect is," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 234-244.
    16. Rob Vos & Arjun Bedi & Paul K. Kimalu & Damiano K. Manda & Nancy N. Nafula & Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2004. "Achieving Universal Primary Education: Can Kenya Afford it?," Working papers 2004-47, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    17. Oliver Morrissey, 1990. "The impact of multilateral and tied bilateral aid on the UK economy," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 2(1), pages 60-76, January.
    18. Anna Fruttero & Varun Gauri, 2005. "The Strategic Choices of NGOs: Location Decisions in Rural Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 759-787.
    19. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer & Rebecca Thornton, 2004. "Incentives to learn," Natural Field Experiments 00289, The Field Experiments Website.
    20. Channing Arndt & Sam Jones & Finn Tarp, 2009. "Aid and Growth: Have We Come Full Circle?," Working Paper Series WIDER Discussion Paper 20, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    21. Basu, Kaushik, 1996. "Relief programs: When it may be better to give food instead of cash," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 91-96, January.
    22. Emmanuel Frot & Javier Santiso, 2008. "Development Aid and Portfolio Funds: Trends, Volatility and Fragmentation," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 275, OECD Publishing.
    23. Jennifer van Heerde & David Hudson, 2010. "'The Righteous Considereth the Cause of the Poor'? Public Attitudes towards Poverty in Developing Countries," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 58, pages 389-409, 06.
    24. Jacob Ricker-Gilbert & Thomas S. Jayne & Ephraim Chirwa, 2010. "Subsidies and Crowding Out: A Double-Hurdle Model of Fertilizer Demand in Malawi," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(1), pages 26-42.
    25. François Bourguignon & Mark Sundberg, 2007. "Aid Effectiveness – Opening the Black Box," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 316-321, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cai:edddbu:edd_264_0095. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jean-Baptiste de Vathaire)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.