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Measuring the Efficiency of Programmatic Based Approaches

Programme Based Approaches (PBAs) have raised high expectations about aid effectiveness and are often presented as the solution to provide ‘better aid’ in an international environment with a lot ‘more aid’. DFID cites quantitative and qualitative work underlying a claim that PBAs are 20% more efficient than other ways of delivering aid, but no research directly confirms this efficiency gain.

This project was undertaken for the National Audit Office. The team was to ‘map’ and critique evidence around the effectiveness of PBAs, particularly the quantitative evidence, to identify what can and cannot be said on the available evidence. It is in this context that the NAO wants to add to this debate and assist DFID in taking its research further by commissioning this study of the evidence on the effectiveness of aid delivered under PBAs.