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International Coordination and the Effectiveness of Aid


  • Arne Bigsten
  • Sven Tengstam


This paper discusses and seeks to quantify the effects of improved donor coordination on aid effectiveness. Empirical estimates are first provided of the reductions in transaction costs that can be achieved by better donor coordination via concentration to fewer partner countries and a shift from project aid to programme-based approaches. Further estimates are presented showing how much could be gained in terms of poverty reduction by optimizing aid allocation across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Arne Bigsten & Sven Tengstam, 2012. "International Coordination and the Effectiveness of Aid," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2012-032, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp-2012-032

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kohnert, Dirk, 2015. "Donor’s double talk undermines African agency : Comparative study of civic agency in Burkina Faso and Togo," EconStor Conference Papers 120921, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    2. Peter Nunnenkamp & Albena Sotirova & Rainer Thiele, 2016. "Do Aid Donors Specialize and Coordinate within Recipient Countries? The case of Malawi," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 34(6), pages 831-849, November.
    3. Dijkstra, Geske, 2018. "Aid and good governance: Examining aggregate unintended effects of aid," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 225-232.
    4. Kotsadam, Andreas & Østby, Gudrun & Rustad, Siri Aas & Tollefsen, Andreas Forø & Urdal, Henrik, 2018. "Development aid and infant mortality. Micro-level evidence from Nigeria," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 59-69.
    5. Victor Ginsburgh & Juan D. Moreno-Ternero, 2018. "On Poverty and the International Allocation of Development Aid," Working Papers 18.15, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    6. Resnick, Danielle & Okumo, Austen, 2017. "Subnational variation in policy implementation: the case of Nigerian land governance reform:," NSSP working papers 46, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Rune Jansen Hagen, 2018. "Losing concentration? Lessons from a Swedish aid policy reform," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 36(S2), pages 984-1003, September.
    8. Erika Deserranno & Aisha Nansamba & Nancy Qian, 2020. "Aid Crowd-Out: The Effect of NGOs on Government-Provided Public Services," NBER Working Papers 26928, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Howe, Paul, 2019. "The triple nexus: A potential approach to supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 1-1.
    10. Erik Lundsgaarde & Niels Keijzer, 2019. "Development Cooperation in a Multilevel and Multistakeholder Setting: From Planning towards Enabling Coordinated Action?," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 31(2), pages 215-234, April.
    11. Fløgstad, Cathrin & Hagen, Rune Jansen, 2017. "Aid Dispersion: Measurement in Principle and Practice," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 232-250.
    12. Michael G. Findley & Helen V. Milner & Daniel L. Nielson, 2017. "The choice among aid donors: The effects of multilateral vs. bilateral aid on recipient behavioral support," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 307-334, June.
    13. Bernhard Reinsberg & Centre for Business Research, 2018. "Blockchain Technology and the Governance of Foreign Aid," Working Papers wp505, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    14. Alfonso Carfora & Monica Ronghi & Giuseppe Scandurra, 2017. "The effect of Climate Finance on Greenhouse Gas Emission: A Quantile Regression Approach," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 7(1), pages 185-199.
    15. Rachel M. Gisselquist & Finn Tarp, 2019. "Aid Impact and Effectiveness: Introduction and Overview," Politics and Governance, Cogitatio Press, vol. 7(2), pages 1-4.
    16. Gehring, Kai & Michaelowa, Katharina & Dreher, Axel & Spörri, Franziska, 2017. "Aid Fragmentation and Effectiveness: What Do We Really Know?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 320-334.
    17. Maurizio Carbone, 2017. "Make Europe happen on the ground? Enabling and constraining factors for European Union aid coordination in Africa," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 35(4), pages 531-548, July.
    18. Jiyoun An & Bokyeong Park, 2019. "Natural Disasters and International Financial Accessibility in Developing Countries," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 18(1), pages 245-261, Winter/Sp.
    19. Muhammad Mustafizur Rahaman & Niaz Ahmed Khan, 2017. "Making international aid effective: An agenda for aligning aid to social business," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 35, pages 96-117, October.

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    Economic assistance and foreign aid; International relations; Poverty;

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