This paper makes the case that achieving the development targets recently endorsed by the OECD donors will require a more flexible approach to development assistance, moving on from fragmented project approaches and coercive conditionality towards more general forms of support for the expenditure programmes of those Governments which demonstrate a shared commitment to the targets. It builds on research findings that aid works best where Governments are committed to sound policies for economic growth and poverty reduction, and suggests more effective approaches to working in partnership with such Governments. The ideas are not new: they have been much discussed in fora such as the Special Programme of Assistance to Africa (the SPA). However, fully implementing them will require significant changes in donor practice, and endorsement by G7 leaders will help to accelerate the process of reform.
Mick Foster & Dino Merotto