More than 200 multilateral agencies – including the United Nations, regional development banks and global funds – are the recipients of close to one-third of all aid. When including earmarked funding provided to multilaterals for implementation, this goes up to two fifths.
The annual DAC report on multilateral aid (pdf) looks at a number of key issues:
- Trends in multilateral aid and the total use of the multilateral system
- Donors’ multilateral aid strategies and reviews
- Fragmentation and concentration of the multilateral system
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The pattern of how aid is delivered and received is splintered across a large number of donors, each with their own processes and priorities. Our data shows that half of all aid relations account for only a fraction of actual aid volume - 5%! Not only is this pattern complex to understand and co-ordinate, but it also creates transaction costs and administrative burdens for partner countries.
This work helps donors and recipients identify where fragmentation can be problematic and guide donors to invest where aid is expected to be most needed based on the key goals and commitments outlined in the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation and the Accra Agenda for Action to reduce fragmentation and improve the division of labour. This is possible by:
- developing a set of indicators to monitor fragmentation across countries;
- supporting donors in their efforts to address fragmentation by streamlining their aid relations and concentrating their relationships with partner countries
Founded in our work on aid fragmentation, we take a closer look at where aid activities are concentrated, and where they are missing. The areas where aid is most concentrated are commonly referred to as “aid darlings”, while those where it is missing are referred to as “aid orphans”.
What is the exact definition of an aid orphan? Which countries qualify as aid orphans? And what can we do to draw attention to their needs? The answers to these questions are part of an ongoing international debate.
Our methodology used to identify under-aided countries contributes to further this debate.
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