In pursuit of per diem – donor and recipient practices of per diem payment

Arne Tostensen

Increasing emphasis on capacity-building and training activities as a proportion of donors’ country programmes has drawn attention to per diem practices. This report discusses the uses and abuses of per diem payments, predominantly by aid agencies and their counterparts in developing countries. It draws extensively on a commissioned report published in 2012, which covered three African countries: Ethiopia, Malawi and Tanzania. The purpose of this report is threefold: (a) to summarise the understanding of the uses and abuses of daily subsistence allowances (per diems) in connection with seminars, trainings sessions, etc.; (b) to assess the effects of per diem systems on development programmes, budgets and incentives; and (c) to recommend remedies to identified challenges.