IBON Primer on ODA and Development Effectiveness


2009|60 pages

This primer reviews the history of ODA since World War II and identifies the major problems with the aid system. It reveals the yawning gap between aid rhetoric and aid practice. It also argues that current donor-led efforts to improve “aid effectiveness” fail to grapple with power asymmetries in aid relationships. The primer challenges the premises, priorities and the configuration of aid partnerships at present. It sketches an agenda for transforming the international aid architecture from one that serves the interests of elites in the North and South, to one that ensures the progressive realization of the human rights of the poor and the marginalized.




Part I. Aid in Practice

What is the History of Aid?

What is Wrong with Aid?

Part II. Two Generations of Aid Effectiveness Reforms

How have donors attempted to “rethink” aid and development?

What was the first generation of aid effectiveness reforms?

What was the second generation of aid effectiveness reforms?

What was the outcome of the third High Level Forum in 2008?

What are some of the criticisms to the Accra Agenda for Action?

Part III. Development Effectiveness – the way forward for international development


What do we mean by “development”?

What do we mean by democratic development?

What do we mean by Development Effectiveness as a framework for international development cooperation?

What are the principal elements of the development effectiveness framework applied to aid and development cooperation?

How can the international aid architecture be transformed?


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