From Aid Effectiveness to Development Effectiveness

In the course of seeking ways forward for Aid effectiveness, strengthening of country capacity to manage for results came as a huge challenge to the international community. In effect, the 4th Round Table at the Accra High-Level Forum suggested that Results management requires country systems to manage change, while leadership and capacities need to be developed to be able to achieve the required feat.

This is not unexpected because of the special need and the institutional settings in most developing countries, especially, Sub-Saharan Africa. The activities of communities of practice were therefore meant to focus on regional and country level awareness and application of results approach in public management. Furthermore, research reveals that  even more needs to be done at the country level and that awareness of managing for results need to be a priority and should cut across all areas and levels of the public service.  A survey of activities on most online platforms of CoP for MfDR point  to the need to not only involve national planning, monitoring and evaluation professionals, but the public service as a whole. And this should start by inculcating the political class (leadership), general management, administrative personnel and every other professional involved, in one way or the other, in the development management process, into the background, principles and methods on results-based approach[1].  This consideration, on one hand, is very essential as the next stage of action achieving development effectiveness in countries.

On the other hand, the lack of adequate management of residual knowledge across ministries and practice areas has been a challenge in the discourse for effectiveness of development delivery, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although there has been a lot of efforts to ameliorate the state of knowledge management, the lack of resources or administrative leadership that gives knowledge management its place in the development process has restrained progress in many countries. Also, the need to streamline the role of foreign and national  professionals on projects in aid-recipient countries is becoming another  major course for concern. For example,  a survey carried out by the Nigerian National Planning Commissionidentified the fact that projects done through development aids often see experts from the donor countries dominating the management of its execution. According to the report, the formulation and implementation of donor-assisted programmes are currently characterized by inadequate involvement of indigenes, high cost of technical assistance, donor driven approach to aid delivery, proliferation of aid agencies, uneven spread of donor activities, institutional weaknesses, inadequate coordination and problem of counterpart funding[2]. This results into lack of continuous capacity building for national officers and has a strain on independence on programme execution that guarantees results through ownership.

These three dimensions, which stressed on moving from the level of aid effectiveness to development effectiveness, constitute the overarching objective, contributions and focus of 3psmars.

Therefore, by the means at our disposal, 3psmars will focus on:

  • Enhancing development effectiveness; through
  • Promoting the Results-based  approach;
  • Development Ownership;
  • Transforming leadership;
  • Local action with a global perspective; and
  • Collective responsibility

[1] See for example, Ethirajan Soundararajans post on  May 24, 2012 where he wrote: while so much of emphasis is given for Managing for Development Results at the Partner-Country level, it is essential that the same level of importance should be given at the Project Level as well. The accountability and ownership of all the stakeholders thus created through MfDR will ensure the successful implementation of the projects. Be it a donor or a government funded programme, the aspirations and needs of the beneficiaries need to be appropriately dovetailed in the plan and MfDR by its very concept ensures this. However, there are two impediments to implement MfDR at the project level: one- the lack of capacity amongst the programme managers and other stakeholders and two – absence of easy to use tool which could help in planning, implementing, monitoring the outputs and evaluating the impacts. It is my fond opinion that the project level MfDR will be the fundamental building block on which the national level MfDR can be built. Retrieved from http://copmfdrafrica.ning.com/forum/topics/project-level-mfdr, on 20th February, 2014.
[2] See, National Planning Commission, Nigeria (2007), The Official Development Assistance Policy, 2008, P3.