Thursday, July 1, 2010

Haddad's Sensible Questions on Effectiveness

Aid effectiveness:
Why has no-one asked whether conditional cash transfers make sense in sub-Saharan Africa? Most of the effort has been spent on answering if cash transfers have an impact on hunger. Of course they do. ...

The "randomistas" and even the quasi-experimentalists often answer the question "does it have an impact?", sometimes "for who?", but rarely "why?". This requires innovative issue-driven blends of quant and qual. ...
 Some more:
Is the UK taxpayer getting value for money from 30 or so global organisations? ... [Factors impacting the answer to that question include transaction costs, credibility, and:]

Ownership. Can multilaterals support government systems better than direct budget support? I'm not sure. And I'm not even sure the best way to find out-who to ask? Civil society in the South? Recipient Governments? The new Aid Watchdog?

Impact. It is harder to demonstrate to donor citizens that their taxes are having a particular effect when resources are pooled in multilaterals.
And, for a change of pace, one answer:
some work I was involved in in the late 90s showed that for 100 public works projects in Western Cape, the ones led by communities were the most cost efficient at transferring resources to the poorest

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