Sunday, May 13, 2012

Evaluating EU aid: a booming business

An extract from the Oversea Development Institute by Mikaela Gavas:

As the wave of austerity unfolds across Europe and pressure mounts on aid budgets, donors are under increasing pressure to demonstrate accountability, value for money and evidence of effectiveness. Enter the EU… 

Following the assessment of the EU as part of the UK Department for International Development’s Multilateral Aid Review, the EU aid programme has undergone a further evaluation in the UK by the House of Commons International Development Committee (IDC), a peer review by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and an evaluation by the Dutch Government (still to be published). And it’s not over. 

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact is also lining up to evaluate the EU. The danger is that instead of making it more effective, too much auditing might become crippling. The IDC inquiry into EU aid, published on 27 April, and the OECD DAC peer review of EU aid, published three days earlier, ran in parallel. The former focuses mainly on the comparative advantage of EU aid, the new direction for EU development policy and future funding. 

The latter report is a lot more comprehensive, analysing the overall policy and strategic framework, the funding, the institutional structures, organisation and management, the procedures and the impact of the EU’s development and humanitarian aid programmes.

More follows..... 

The IDC is right on its key point: the Commission would do well to focus efforts on the poorest countries, and develop new partnerships with the others. EU aid to Upper Middle Income Countries is currently four times the DAC average, and has been widely criticised as being insuf´Čüciently targeted on poverty eradication – not only by the IDC, but also by the DAC in previous peer reviews, and other stakeholders. At the same time, while no one questions the validity of the Commission providing substantial support to countries like Turkey to prepare it for accession to the EU, the question is whether this should be counted as Official Development Assistance.  One for the DAC…

Read the full commentary linked here.

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