Foreign Aid: International Donor Coordination of Development Assistance [April 15, 2010]   [open pdf - 263KB]

"Just as experts have argued that greater inter-agency coordination could improve the U.S. foreign assistance program, many believe that improved coordination among donor governments and multilateral aid organizations could make global development assistance more efficient and effective. More than 30 countries and 20 multilateral organizations reported providing official development assistance in 2008. More than 150 countries received this assistance, with the United States alone providing aid to 139 countries. Most developing countries host more than a dozen bilateral and multilateral aid agencies each year, and several host more than three dozen. This diffuse aid structure, reformers argue, leads to redundancy, policy incoherence, inefficient use of resources, and unnecessary administrative burdens on host countries. […] Evaluations to date indicate that little progress has been made on many Paris Declaration coordination indicators, and the United States has regressed on one indicator regarding joint field missions. This situation has been attributed to a variety of factors, including division of labor problems, political concerns about direct budget support, lack of inter-agency coordination, and personnel disincentives. Conflicting strategic interests are also a factor, with some experts arguing that the goals of official donor coordination efforts are not always consistent with the diverse objectives of U.S. foreign assistance policy. Furthermore, some have observed that official donor coordination is unlikely to have significant impact on aid effectiveness without the inclusion of increasingly significant private and emerging country donors."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R41185
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