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Applying evaluation to development and aid: Can evaluation bridge the micro-macro gaps in aid effectiveness?

Donors and governments in aid recipient countries are under pressure to demonstrate the effectiveness of aid, especially given the growing stress on fiscal balances in the context of the global financial and economic crisis. The evidence on aid effectiveness remains mixed at best: while individual targeted aid interventions appear to produce positive results, the impact of aid at the macroeconomic level remains limited. Furthermore, the reporting on concrete outcomes of aid interventions remains inadequate, thus perpetuating doubts as to aid effectiveness. This paper discusses these micro-macro gaps in aid effectiveness and the reporting problem. It proposes some ways in which well-designed and carefully implemented evaluations can help bridge these gaps, and how better reporting and transparency on aid results can advance the aid effectiveness agenda.

As appeared in Evaluation and its Discontents: Do We Learn from Experience in Development? Proceedings of the 9th AFD-EUDN Conference, 2012

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