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The quality of aid: how does Australia fare?

This blog, on the Lowy Interpreter, reflects on how Australian aid fares in the new Quality of Official Development Assistance Assessment (QuODA) report.

The report, written by Nancy Birdsall, from the Center for Global Development, and Homi Kharas, from the Brookings Institution, assesses the quality of aid given by donor countries and aid agencies. The report assesses aid quality using 30 indicators, grouped in four categories that reflect the international consensus of what constitutes high-quality aid. The categories are: (1) maximising efficiency; (2) fostering institutions in recipient countries; (3) reducing the burden on recipients; and (4) transparency and learning.

Australia is found to be the top performer in the transparency and learning category, but ranks 14th in the 'reducing burden' category, 19th in the 'fostering institutions' category and 21st in the 'maximising efficiency' category.

The blog argues that the report is a comprehensive contribution to aid analysis and debate, and that the next step for Australia should be to examine the results in detail, celebrate and build on success, and identify and address areas where there is room for improvement.