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The Impact of U.S. and U.K. Legislatures on Aid Delivery

Research reports

“The Impact of U.S. and U.K. Legislatures on Aid Delivery” provides a rare and valuable assessment of the role of legislatures in two of the world’s leading donors and how these legislatures influence aid effectiveness.

In recent years foreign assistance has come into focus among policymakers, global foundations, international business, and celebrities. The policy paper calls for greater accountability and results have led donors and aid recipients alike to pursue new principles on aid delivery. There is a higher level of agreement internationally on what is needed to bolster aid effectiveness than in the past. However, within donors these discussions continue to unfold and remain far from being resolved. In some cases legislatures play a critical role in determining aid policy and can heavily influence the ability to make progress on host-country partnerships, greater cooperation, and alignment with local needs. Yet, the role of legislatures in impacting aid delivery has not been fully explored and they have not been consistently engaged in the global discussions around aid effectiveness.

Accordingly, this study seeks to examine aid through the lens of the relationship between the legislature and the aid agency in two leading donors: the United States (U.S.) and the United Kingdom (U.K.). The objective of this report is to deepen understanding on how this relationship potentially impacts a donor’s ability to pursue its development objectives and internationally recognized best practice in aid. While there are important differences between the U.K. Parliamentary system and the U.S. Presidential system, there are important transatlantic lessons to be learned from how their legislatures impact the effectiveness of bilateral aid.

Simon Burrall, Jonathan M. White, Andrew Blick