Official development assistance has risen sharply to over US$100 billion in each of the past two years. Non-governmental organizations, foundations and other private groups, along with a growing number of multilateral agencies and new bilaterals have also increased their role in alleviating global poverty. But with the proliferation of new actors and instruments, aid flows have become fragmented and increasingly volatile. There is a pressing need for the actors to address the issues of whether and how to reform the current aid architecture for greater aid effectiveness.
On June 10, 2008, Homi Kharas and Johannes Linn of the Wolfensohn Center for Development at Brookings joined the Development Centre of the OECD to co-host a discussion on global development aid strategies.
The Wolfensohn Center strives to improve the effectiveness of aid by promoting a better understanding of the aid system including new donor actions and behaviors and current system trends, challenges, and inefficiencies. The Center’s Aid Effectiveness Initiative, led by Homi Kharas, was the first to quantify and value the costs of aid volatility. By providing measures showing the inefficiencies of the current system, the distribution of costs across recipients, and the distribution of responsilbity across donors, Kharas convincingly demonstrates that developing policy mechanisms to decrease aid volatility is a high priority. Through a series of analytical country case studies and by engaging with fellow development experts, donors, and recipients, the Wolfensohn Center will continue to examine the efficiency and sustainability of aid to provide policy recommendations to key stakeholders and encourage the international community to react to powerful new trends in international giving.