Aid Effectiveness Metrics Should Be Considered In Allocation To LDCs
The Conversation: Why the world’s poorest countries don’t always get the foreign aid they need
Willem Fourie, associate professor at the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership and coordinator of the South African SDG Hub at the University of Pretoria
“Foreign aid, or official development assistance, is controversial. The expectation is that it should benefit the most vulnerable countries but this is not always the case. … Traditional bilateral aid to Africa continues to decline despite the fact that 34 of the countries on the continent are classified as least-developed countries — the so-called LDCs. … This … can be explained with reference to the complexity of [donors] balancing self-interest, need, and merit. But this doesn’t answer some fundamental questions such as, what are the limits to self-interest? Shouldn’t need and merit [of recipient countries] be more important than self-interest? And finally, should need, merit, and self-interest be the only criteria? The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation has provided some direction in this regard by emphasizing a fourth criterion: effectiveness. … So far, aid effectiveness is receiving wide support from both developed and developing countries, including regional organizations like the African Union. Going forward, metrics that quantify the effectiveness of aid will be very helpful not only for understanding current aid distribution patterns, but also for influencing future aid allocation” (4/12).