Local Research for Better Lives


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“The Future of Aid Effectiveness in sub-Saharan Africa – A Research Agenda"

Léonce Ndikumana and Lynda Pickbourn (August 2016)

Authors Léonce Ndikumana and Lynda Pickbourn present a critical assessment of the state of literature on aid effectiveness, with a focus on perspectives from African researchers and a possible way forward for the research community. The authors highlight problematic features in aid design and delivery, which takes place on the micro level in spite of its impact being measured at the macro level, particularly in terms of contribution to economic growth.  They argue that aid effectiveness research needs to move its analysis to the sectorial level (health, agriculture, gender, conflict, etc.), where impact is more likely to be visible and measurable, and find that aid influences the institutional environment as much institutional factors influence aid. The paper further presents an argument for any analysis of aid effectiveness to be based on a solid analysis of historical conditions and external shocks that have influenced development and the effectiveness of aid services. 

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"Aid Effectiveness and its Discontents in sub-Saharan Africa"

Augustin Kwasi Fosu (December 2016)

Augustin Kwasi Fosu provides an analysis of the critical debate on the notion of aid ‘effectiveness’ in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with a focus on the perspectives of African scholars and African policy actors. The study outlines the discourse around aid effectivess and examines the role of traditional and emerging donors in shaping and promoting the debate. To make aid more effective and mitigate ‘discontent’, Fosu argues that SSA countries need to incorporate aid effectiveness measures into their short, medium and long-term plans; ensure effective coordination of traditional and emerging donors; forge development cooperation beyond aid to include trade and investment; mainstream the creation of a conducive environment for private investment and domestic resource mobilization; effectively control capital flight; and pay greater attention to South-South cooperation. He argues that donors should ensure more efficient and effective aid targeting, particularly toward the productive sector, and attenuate aid-tying conditions. Finally, complementary studies to elicit the views of the various SSA actors are called for, to more appropriately capture the comparative perspectives of aid effectiveness and its discontents in (sub-Saharan) Africa.

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"Barriers and Opportunities for Stronger Research on Aid Effectiveness in sub-Saharan Africa"

Eric Kehinde Ogunleye (April 2017)

This paper articulates the barriers to – and opportunities for–  stronger research collaboration on aid and development effectiveness in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with the aim of bolstering collaboration between development partners and aid recipient countries, and strengthening the voice of aid recipient countries in the aid effectiveness discourse. It explores the potential for collaborative research in SSA, with a focus on the rationale, structure and nature of collaborative research; articulates the challenges facing collaborative research in SSA, based on evidence from the literature and interactions with policymakers and researchers; and examines the institutions, development partners and countries capable of leading the way.

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Download a compendium of abstracts of studies conducted under this grant.


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