Evaluation of development programmes

Evaluating budget support


During the past two decades some donor countries have changed the way they work, contributing parts of their development assistance directly to partner countries’ budgets. The aim of this type of support is to better align support with country policies and to reduce the burden of multiple, fragmented aid projects. Budget support, as this type of aid is known, also attempts to strengthen country financial and management systems by using them, and, ultimately, to achieve better development results through more efficient, effective spending.

There is growing interest from various stakeholders in assessing the impacts of budget support and finding out whether or not budget support is indeed an effective way to support poverty reduction. The OECD DAC Evaluation Network has developed a methodology to evaluate budget support, for assessing the chain of results and induced impacts of support at country level. The methodology was tested in evaluations of budget support in Tunisia, Mali and Zambia in 2010/2011, and, after revision, used in Tanzania and Mozambique in 2012/2013. Evaluations are now underway in Morocco and Burundi. Download the evaluation reports from the DAC Evaluation Resource Centre (DEReC).


Key reference:

Evaluating Budget Support: Methodological Approach (OECD DAC, 2012, .pdf)
Version française: Approche méthodologique pour les évaluations de l'aide budgétaire (OCDE CAD, 2012, .pdf)


insights issue on budget support thumbnail 2

Policy lessons: What do we know about the effectiveness and results of budget support?

  • Synthesis of Budget Support Evaluations (.pdf)
  • Evaluation Insights #10: Evaluating the impact of budget support - Key findings of the seven evaluations including lessons from the pilot cases 
  • Synthesis of Main Results of Budget Support Evaluations in Mali, Tunisia and Zambia (.pdf)
  • Evaluation Insights #2: Assessing the impacts of budget support - A short policy brief on key lessons from the pilot evaluation




Pilot Studies: Evaluation Reports  




zambia flag Zambia

Tanzania flag for budget support webpage Tanzania


First joint evaluation of budget support

A first major joint evaluation of budget support was conducted in 2004 to assess the extent to which, and under what circumstances, budget support is relevant, efficient and effective for achieving sustainable impacts on poverty reduction and economic growth. The evaluation was commissioned by a consortium of donor agencies and seven partner Governments under the auspices of the DAC Network on Development Evaluation. This evaluation mainly addressed the process but did not focus on the chain of results of budget support. The more recent work (above) has gone a step further to look at the devleopment results achieved through budget support operations. 

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