Development finance standards

Untying Aid: Is It Working?



Untying Aid: Is It Working is the first ever independent evaluation of DAC members' policies and practices towards untying, based on principles put forward in the Paris Declaration and the DAC Recommendation on Untying ODA to the Least Developed Countries. It finds that the overall picture is positive, with important qualifications.

Download the PDF of the publication here (pdf, 1.28 MB)


Untying aid – removing the legal and regulatory barriers to open competition for aid-funded procurement – generally increases aid effectiveness by reducing transaction costs and improving the ability of recipient countries to set their own course.

From 1999-2001 to 2008, the proportion of untied bilateral aid rose progressively from 46% to 82%.

But donors can do more. Challenges include a growing role of non-DAC donors that provide largely tied development funding, new vertical funding and new forms of funding to address the global financial crisis in the short-term and climate change in the longer term.

This report also includes country case studies on the effects of untying aid in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Laos, South Africa, Vietnam and Zambia:


Burkina Faso (in French) (pdf, 409.11 kB)

Ghana (pdf, 588.9 kB)

Laos (pdf, 717.6 kB)

South Africa (pdf, 709.8 kB)

Vietnam (pdf, 883.3 kB)

Additional reading

Evaluation of the implementation of the Paris DeclarationThis publication was prepared in conjunction with the Overseas Development Institute.

Implementation of the 2001 DAC recommendation on Untying ODA to the Least Developed Countries - 2009 review. (pdf, 62 kB)


For inquiries or hard copies, please write to [email protected].