Better Aid: Responding to Gaps in Effectiveness


Developed and industrialized nations have briefly united at ministerial meetings, set goals and laid promises and yet there are still obvious gaps in the global development aid system. Commitments and targets are unmet, goals are off track, and benchmarks are slowly implemented, if at all. Driven by rapid progress in China, the world has reduced global poverty rates, yet key areas like Sub-Saharan African have seen much weaker improvement: while poverty rates have decreased, population growth has led to growing numbers of poor people.

The effectiveness of aid continues to be the critical challenge. Aid volume is still increasing, but incentives change, new donors appear on the scene, aid flows are fragmented, and data is not captured and analyzed.

In order to fill these gaps and turn promise into action, a new strategy is needed. The future looks bleak for many of the world’s poor with the ensuing impact of the global financial crisis, rising food prices, and the changing climate. Now, more than ever, effective sustainable development to alleviate global poverty is essential. Using a two-pronged approach as outlined in this policy brief, aid architecture can be strengthened, gaps filled, flows coordinated, and development sustainable and effective—ultimately making aid better.