Shifts in the context for development assistance and the wider quest to improve aid effectiveness has prompted the search for new ways of doing business between donors and national governments. Part of this quest includes the development of sector-wide approaches (SWAps) which bring together external assistance and domestic funds under a single sector strategy and expenditure framework, owned and led by government with development partners progressively aligning and harmonising their procedures with country systems. The goal is to develop a comprehensive sector framework that can guide public and private action in support of improved service delivery, growth and poverty reduction outcomes. Achieving this goal goes beyond improving the effectiveness of ODA but SWAps remain closely associated with the international community’s efforts to improve the way they deliver and utilise aid in support of sector goals. Understanding progress in this area is a key motivation for this study.