Localising aid – a challenge to the orthodoxy?
Jonathan Glennie - Research Fellow, ODI
Alastair McKechnie - Senior Research Associate, ODI and former World Bank Country Director in Afghanistan
Tjip Walker - Senior Policy Analyst, USAID
Leni Wild - Research Fellow, Politics and Governance Programme, ODI
What if much of the orthodox aid effectiveness agenda that has dominated aid discussions for a decade is misguided? And what if the calculations aid givers make when assessing risk are wrong? This event will present the findings of ODI’s Localising aid research and provide a forum to debate the latest thinking on how to make aid more effective.
The Localising aid research challenges the aid effectiveness orthodoxy in a range of ways, and complements it in others.
First, it challenges aid programmers to engage more fully with systemic strengthening across the private sector, civil society and the state, supporting the direction taken at the Busan conference in 2011.
Second, it challenges aid effectiveness norms by suggesting that the evidence behind the ‘use country systems’ mantra is not that strong – different modalities appear to work well in different situations.
Third, it argues that, despite donor instincts, localising aid is no more risky than using international contractors or creating parallel systems – when all risks are fully taken into account.
Fourth, it calls for a radical internalisation of complexity in aid programming, and argues that information sharing is urgently necessary.
Along with these important conclusions, the four reports suggest practical ways for aid donors to engage more in localising aid, especially with the neglected private and civil society sectors.
We expect the debate to be fruitful and provocative.