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The main objectives of the evaluation were provision of an independent assessment to the Commission of the EU and to the wider public of the Commission`s past and current co-operation relations with Malawi.
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The design of the assistance programmes was not adequately underpinned by local knowledge of security and justice practices and needs or by mechanisms to monitor progress and measure results and impact.
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This study provides an assessment of the overall performance of agricultural input subsidy programmes in Malawi, Zambia, Ghana and Tanzania, where so-called “smart” subsidies have been introduced in an attempt to maximise effects at the lowest possible costs.
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The UK Government recently announced an increase in the proportion of the aid budget going to fragile and conflict-affected countries. ICAI concludes that this focus on fragile states, with the planned increase of the aid budget, will expose UK aid to higher levels of corruption risk.
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With a strong focus on the impact for intended beneficiaries and the robustness of delivery approaches, the report establishes a set of guiding criteria for whether aid is fit for purpose and being used to tackle the most important issues.
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In Zambia, budget support has developed into a highly visible and relevant instrument of development cooperation. The budget increases helped to improve service delivery, especially in the social sectors. Nevertheless, serious challenges remain.
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The report has found that UK funds provide critical support and have had a substantial and positive impact, most notably for those living with HIV/AIDS.
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ICAI’s review of the UK's Climate Change Programme in Bangladesh shows that the £75 million programme is innovative and making an important and recognised contribution to climate change resilience. There are, however, areas that need addressing.
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Overall, the EC's development cooperation programme in the Dominican Republic has been flexible over time and has contributed to reducing poverty in key sectors, but has not specifically targeted the socio-equity gap that is a major developmental issue in the country.
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The review concludes that many more children now attend school. The Netherlands’ contribution was facilitated by the long-term, substantive financial involvement, along with the input of experts in The Hague and the Dutch embassies and the support for research and innovative initiatives.