Learning from experience? A review of recipient-government efforts to manage donor relations and improve the quality of aid

  • Menocal A
  • Mulley S
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Abstract

This paper reviews the efforts of five countries seen as relatively successful examples of recipient-led aid policies and donor management. These countries are Afghanistan, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam. From this review, the paper identifies five enabling conditions that may enable recipient governments to take the lead in establishing aid policies and managing relations with donors: �\tgood standards of macroeconomic management and stable economic growth can facilitate forward planning, and minimises policy dislocations necessitated by IMF conditionalities, and contribute directly to the maintenance of good relations with the donor community �\ta history of open and frank engagement between donors and recipients promotes mutual trust and confidence �\ta commitment to reform and/or strengthen public institutions (especially regarding public financial management) can enhance national capacity to identify and address development needs, as well as enabling donors to 'align' to national priorities and strategies, and nurturing the trust of donors on national systems �\ta strong political will and commitment by the recipient government to lead on the development agenda and own the development process is important. It is easier for donors to align to a recipient country's development plan when country strategies are prioritised and operationalised, and it is easier for recipient countries to lead when their priorities have been identified internally �\tthough still very rare, 'mutual accountability' mechanisms, intended to extend accountability to donors as well as recipient governments, have assisted in overcoming tensions between donors and recipients In some of the cases studied, independent monitoring was also an important aspect of developing recipient leadership

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Authors

  • Alina Rocha Menocal

  • Sarah Mulley

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