New Brookings Policy Briefs on Making Development Aid More Effective

From high-profile stabilization contexts like Afghanistan to global public health campaigns to a renewed focus on sustainable food security and the looming impacts of climate change, development effectiveness is a central and hotly debated issue. As traditional donors make progress in the international aid effectiveness dialogue, they must increasingly take into account the changing global development landscape and the slew of new actors, including emerging donors, multinational corporations, mega philanthropists, high-profile advocates, and a vocal and energized global public.

The seventh annual Brookings Blum Roundtable recently convened, bringing together government officials, academics, development practitioners and leaders from businesses, foundations and international organizations to consider new ways to alleviate global poverty through cross-sector collaboration.

The roundtable discussions provided an opportunity to look beyond questions of increased resources for anti-poverty services to the effectiveness of different approaches and to systemic issues associated with the delivery of development outcomes. The high-level group of participants explored opportunities for new commitment in engaging the private sector and multilateral actors, as well as the increasingly important role of climate assistance and operations in unstable arenas.

The following policy briefs were commissioned by the 2010 Brookings Blum Roundtable and include:


Can Aid Catalyze Development? » (PDF)

Homi Kharas offers recommendations on how to link aid effectiveness more firmly to development strategies through a new multilateralism, a more transparent aid system, differentiated strategies for recipient countries and a longer-term focus for aid.

U.S. Government

Support for Development Outcomes: Toward Systemic Reform » (PDF)

Noam Unger highlights the current pivotal moment for revamping U.S. global development efforts and outlines potential improvements to aid operations and fundamental reforms related to overarching strategy, organizational structures and underlying statutes.

The Private Sector and Aid Effectiveness: Toward New Models of Engagement » (PDF)

With an emphasis on business, Jane Nelson discusses the role of the private sector in development and proposes various ways to scale up the collaboration between these actors and official donors.

International NGOs and Foundations: Essential Partners in Creating an Effective Architecture for Aid » (PDF)

With a focus on international nonprofit organizations, Samuel A. Worthington (InterAction) and Tony Pipa (independent consultant) analyze the relationship between official aid and private development assistance, suggesting that the role of civil society must evolve as part of the international dialogue on aid effectiveness.

Responding to a Changing Climate: Challenges in Financing Climate-Resilient Development Assistance » (PDF)

Kemal Derviş and Sarah Puritz Milsom (Brookings Global) underline key finance-related challenges in achieving climate-resilient growth in developing countries and propose steps to ensure progress in responding to the climate change challenge.

Civilian–Military Cooperation in Achieving Aid Effectiveness: Lessons from Recent Stabilization Contexts » (PDF)

Margaret L. Taylor (Council on Foreign Relations) explores civilian and military roles and the right balance between them for delivering effective international assistance, offering lessons that are critical for further analysis of foreign militaries as aid providers.

Rethinking the Roles of Multilaterals in the Global Aid Architecture » (PDF)

Homi Kharas probes key issues, including the appropriate multilateral share of total aid, the proliferation of multilateral agencies, knowledge exchange among development professionals and the financial leveraging of loans to capital.

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