Good Governance, Aid Modalities and Poverty Reduction

December 2005 to March 2008

This research programme was commissioned by the Advisory Board for Irish Aid. It was undertaken by a consortium including the Christian Michelsen Institute of Norway and the Economic and Social Research Foundation of Tanzania, with inputs from the German Development Institute, the Centre for Democratic Development of Ghana and researchers in Mozambique, Uganda and Malawi.

The research aimed to clarify the relations between governance and poverty reduction and within this context to explore the contributions and risks associated with new aid modalities (sector programmes and budget support). It paid special attention to Irish Aid programme countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The programme was a mixture of desk work to collect, synthesise and reflect upon existing knowledge, and targeted field research to investigate particular issues that remain contentious or obscure.

The programme’s findings were intended as inputs to the strategic thinking of the Advisory Board and the Government of Ireland during a period in which Irish development assistance is being rapidly scaled-up, posing questions about the absorptive capacity of partner countries and the effects on governance. The research results provide policy guidance on what works and what doesn’t in the field of donor support to better governance and public-sector capacity. They also suggest when, how and with what management and monitoring arrangements it may be advisable to scale-up programmes and move to new modalities.


Aid effectiveness after Accra

Briefing papers | July 2008 | David Booth

This Briefing Paper by David Booth examines aid effectiveness and the impact of the Paris Principles in the run-up to the Third High Level Forum, in Accra in September 2008.


Common funds for sector support

Briefing papers | February 2008 | Zainab Kizilbash Agha and Tim Williamson
This Briefing Paper presents evidence on the effectiveness of different modalities of aid, investigating in particular what effect 'transitional' modalities have on a country's systems and capacities.

Building Blocks or Stumbling Blocks? The Effectiveness of New Approaches to Aid Delivery at the Sector Level

Working and discussion papers | January 2008 | Tim Williamson and Zainab Kizilbash Agha, with Liv Bjornstad, Gerald Twijukye, Yamungu Mahwago and George Kabelwa

This working paper analyses the effectiveness of different aid modalities and the coordination mechanisms associated with programme-based approaches at the sector level. It draws from three case studies, covering the education sector in Tanzania, the water and...


Democratisation's Third Wave and the Challenges of Democratic Deepening: Assessing International Democracy Assistance and Lessons Learned

Working and discussion papers | July 2007 | Lise Rakner (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Alina Rocha Menocal (ODI) and Verena Fritz (ODI)
This study focuses on democratisation and democracy assistance in the developing world. It provides an overview of the democratisation processes that have swept across the developing world since the 1980s and explores some of the main challenges facing many of these...