HomeAIDDonors should rethink aid strategy: Experts

Participants following a presentation during the launch of Aid effectiveness in Rwanda. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.

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

their priorities.

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

every year.


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

Nuwamanya said.


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

challenges remain.”


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