Several country studies have tried to measure and assess long-term aggregate impact of external support and end up presenting findings with weak empirical foundation. The learning for the donor – about how to improve its own aid effectiveness – is limited.
EBA encouraged the researchers to “think out of the box” and present alternative and innovative models for doing a country evaluation. Hence, the objective of this study was agreed to be twofold – the development of a model for evaluating country level donor performance and the application of that model to Sweden´s development cooperation with Uganda.
The main methods have been interviews and systematic review of documents based on standard formats and questionnaires. A set of hypotheses was formulated to structure and facilitate the analysis. They are assumptions – expectations based on tacit knowledge and personal experience, research literature and review of documents from Uganda.
The report was presented during the seminar Sweden’s support for development in Africa.
Lessons from model building
- In most cases the internal factors play an indirect role in complex causal pathways determining aid effectiveness. The factors are formed in an interaction between the two systems – the Swedish and the Ugandan – but are generic variables. As such, the same model and approach can be used in other countries as well.
- A set of internal factors linked to three processes was identified: Policy and programme development, aid management and implementation and learning and feedback loops.
- A study of internal factors is necessary, but not sufficient for understanding and assessing performance. If similar studies should be carried out in the future, the approach ought to be broadened in level of participation, time and scope.
Stein-Erik Kruse, Nordic Consulting Group