Is our current aid architecture 'fit for purpose'? Or is the system for delivering international development assistance helping countries attain their development aims? In this paper we argue that it is not. Firstly the idea of an 'aid architecture' is a misnomer. The system we inherit is the consequence of a long series of political initiatives with differing premises and objectives. Secondly the purposes assigned to this assortment of institutions are also diverse. Developmental goals and poverty reduction are generally the dominant discourses within the aid industry today. They are however not the sole or even a major determinants of how aid is actually allocated and spent. The aid industry's patterns and behaviours are part of a broader political reality. Does this however matter? In this article we set out why we think this situation may be having serious consequence across a whole range of international objectives, including developmental ones.