Localising aid

July 2012 to July 2013

In 2012, ODI began investigating one of the most debated issues in aid effectiveness: whether and how to provide funds directly to local actors. Through literature analyses, country visits (Guatemala, Liberia and Uganda) and interviews, the project has sought to:

  • Analyse the value of localising aid for strengthening systems and organisations in recipient countries.

  • Give preliminary guidance to donors on how to localise their aid most effectively.

  • Assess any supply-side blockages to localising aid, particularly perceptions of risk.

Ten headline messages have emerged from the research:

  1. Localising aid to the state can work in all country contexts.

  2. There is mixed evidence on the overall importance of localising aid.

  3. Most donors should localise more aid.

  4. More aid should be localised to the private sector.

  5. International civil society organisations have an important role to play.

  6. There is more than one route to aid effectiveness.

  7. Localised aid is no more risky than non-localised aid.

  8. Information is still very poorly shared.

  9. The complexity of systemic change should be operationalised by donor agencies.

  10. Donors should focus more on principles and human capital than rules.


Localising aid – a challenge to the orthodoxy?

Public event | 9 July 2013 16:30 - 18:00 GMT+01 (BST)

What if much of the orthodox aid effectiveness agenda that has dominated aid discussions for a decade is misguided? And what if the calculations aid givers make when assessing risk are wrong? This event will present the findings of ODI’s Localising...


Localising aid: a whole of society approach

Research reports and studies | July 2013 | Jonathan Glennie; Gideon Rabinowitz
A whole-of-society approach to localising aid means donors supporting government-led strategies and engaging with all key stakeholders.

Localising aid: is it worth the risk?

Research reports and studies | June 2013 | Alastair McKechnie
Donors often perceive localising aid (transferring aid to local rather than international actors) as riskier than non-localised aid. But is this perception correct? This report finds that non-localised aid may carry higher risks of programme and strategic failure.

Localising aid: can using local actors strengthen them?

Working and discussion papers | August 2012 | Jonathan Glennie with Ahmed Ali, Maia King, Alastair McKechnie and Gideon Rabinowitz
Does channelling aid through country systems strengthen them? Can the same approach be applied to non-state actors? This paper sets out a research programme to address these questions.