AID experts have urged donor countries to rethink their aid strategy when
extending assistance to developing countries.
The experts have urged the donor countries to remove some conditions that
come with aid if it’s to leave a positive impact.
Speaking during the launch of a report on aid effectiveness, Reality of Aid
Africa’s Vitalice Meja, said that conditionality makes it almost impossible
for developing countries to own the assistance and use it according to
Reality of Aid Network (RoA) is an international non-governmental
initiative focusing exclusively on analysis and lobbying for poverty
eradication policies and practices in the international aid regime.
“I think the way we do business should change; we need to see movement
towards eliminating donor conditionalities,” Meja said.
The report entitled, “Aid effectiveness in Rwanda, who benefits?” creates a
yardstick to measure to what extent aid has been effectively used to
transform people’s lives, aid management and as to whether donors are
keeping their commitments.
According to the summary of the report facilitated by Rwanda Civil Society
Platform and ActionAid Rwanda, the country receives at least $1bn in aid
Experts say that strict conditions such as rules of origin where donors
influence the source of materials, expertise to be used on the funded
projects create a backflow of aid to developed countries.
“To make a bigger impact, donors should channel the assistance through the
budget which highlights key priority areas,” Actionaid Rwanda’s Sulah
Meja noted that there is need for poor countries to promote ownership in
national development strategies and involve other stake holders in order to
make aid effective.
“Civil societies should work with the government and other relevant
stakeholders to create enabling environment to ensure that people benefit
from the aid,” he added
Nevertheless, the report indicates that aid has supported the development
of the productive sectors as well as human development. Domestic tax
revenues have increased as well as flows of foreign direct investment.
“There has been strong economic growth, there are signs of economic
transformation, there has been a growth in non-farm-employment and an
increase in, and diversification of, exports,” the report reads in part.
Indeed, Rwanda scored high in aid effective use through a number of aid
policy reforms and other public financial systems, fighting graft that
increased donor confidence.
But Pamela Abbott, from the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research-IPAR
says, “In terms of development assistance there have been some improvements
in joint-accountability, but progress has been slow and uneven and
Abbott notes that over three quarters of aid is not aligned to the national
budget submitted to parliament while over a quarter of development partners
show no signs of future commitments.
According to the report, technical assistance provided by donors does not
meet government needs, while developing partners are slow to implement
commitments which are contrary to Paris declaration of 2006.
The Paris Declaration (2006) placed partner country ownership of policies
and processes at the centre of the reform agenda while the Accra Agenda for
Action (2008) considered in greater detail the role of actors, going beyond
the state as owners of development efforts.
- New Times – Rwanda