The purpose of this paper is to explore the consequences for macroeconomic management of the envisaged scaling-up of aid to African countries, to report on the results of recent research and to consider the policy implications. Building on recent work from the International Monetary Fund, ODI commissioned country studies of Mauritania, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Tanzania to examine their recent experience of aid surges. The IMF study additionally included analysis of Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda, and was based on a distinction between the absorption and spending of aid. ODI followed this approach, but extended it to consider longer-term and more qualitative matters. ODI also commissioned a paper on the macroeconomic effects of commodity price surges,to examine what inferences might be drawn from these experiences.