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An overview of aid effectiveness, determinants and strategies


  • Stephen Howes

    () (Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University)


This paper provides an overview of issues relating to aid effectiveness. It argues that it is impossible to give a definitive answer to the question of whether aid is effective, and that it is more useful to ask what can be done to make aid more effective. The paper then groups the various determinants of aid effectiveness, as well as strategies to improve effectiveness, under three headings: the performance of the recipient (developing) country government; the performance of the aid agency of the donor (developed) country; and the interaction between the two. This provides, it is argued, a useful framework within which to understand different and competing arguments about how to improve aid effectiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Howes, 2011. "An overview of aid effectiveness, determinants and strategies," Development Policy Centre Discussion Papers 1101, Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:devpol:1101

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Crawford School Working Papers in January 2012
      by David Stern in Stochastic Trend on 2012-02-03 00:03:00


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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew McNee, 2012. "Rethinking Health Sector Wide Approaches through the lens of Aid Effectiveness," Development Policy Centre Discussion Papers 1214, Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    2. Gopalan, Sasidaran & Rajan, Ramkishen S., 2016. "Has Foreign Aid Been Effective in the Water Supply and Sanitation Sector? Evidence from Panel Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 84-104.
    3. Paul Jones, 2012. "The Challenges of Implementing Millennium Development Goal target 7D in Pacific island towns and cities," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 19(1), pages 139-162, June.

    More about this item


    aid; aid effectiveness;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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