2023 Organisation and Management of Aid Mapping, Other

Influence in Multilateral Aid Organizations: A Literature Review

Magnus Lundgren, Isabella Strindevall

Sweden is an important donor to the multilateral system, working to achieve its aid and development goals through significant financial support to multilateral organisations, such as the European Union, the United Nations and the World Bank. These organisations, and others, also represent important arenas for Swedish efforts to promote its development as well as foreign policy priorities. But what is the current state of knowledge regarding the channels of influence, influencing actors, and the factors shaping success?

The authors of this report, Magnus Lundgren and Isabella Strindevall, have reviewed and summarised the academic and gray literature on influence in multilateral aid organizations. Through this work they provide a comprehensive overview of the literature on influence in multilaterals, focusing on the channels and strategies that countries use to assert influence.

A main conclusion is that influence in multilaterals stems from continuous influencing work that draws on multiple channels and utilizes a range of strategies and tools, over time. The importance of adequate financial and human resources to secure formal representation and informal preparatory and follow-up activities is also stressed. Small states can act smart by timing their efforts, prioritizing issues, and forging strategic alliances.