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How to Assess the Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA)

There is a lot of money being spent on official development assistance (ODA). The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) confirmed recently that countries provided over $160 billion in ODA in 2020. But ten years on from the global agreement reached in Busan, South Korea to improve the quality of how development cooperation is delivered,  what do we know about how well provider countries and multilateral agencies spend that money?

A chart of aid quantity (ODA/GNI) vs. aid quality score

How Do You Measure Aid Quality and Who Ranks Highest?

Donors have lost their focus on aid effectiveness in the last decade, limiting aid’s impact. Aid effectiveness still matters enormously to the world’s poor; donors should revisit effective aid principles and agree measures which take better account of today’s challenges and context.

Can We Assess Ag Aid Quality?

This is a joint post with Edward Collins.

Can we assess ag aid quality? The short answer: sort of.

For at least a decade, aid effectiveness has been in the spotlight because of concerns that, in some cases, aid may do more harm than good and, more recently, because of growing budget pressures. In 2005, donor and recipient countries agreed on a set of principles for more effective aid and a process to monitor implementation of those principles with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Based on these principals, and with the objective to provide an independent evaluation of donor performance, Nancy Birdsall, Homi Kharas, and colleagues launched a joint Center for Global Development and Brookings Institution project to assess the Quality of Official Development Assistance, QuODA for short. Now in its second edition, this project motivated CGD colleagues Amanda Glassman and Denizhan Duran to apply the QuODA methodology to health aid and now, we’ve done the same thing for agricultural aid.

Wanted: Better Sector-Level Aid Data

One of the few things donors agreed on at the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan was the need for increased transparency: better aid data is needed to help donors channel their aid more effectively and recipient countries hold their donors accountable. Yet despite the shared commitment, data on aid flows remains incomplete, complicated and fragmented, particularly at the sector level.

We Quantified the Quality of Health Aid! (So What?)

This is a joint post with Denizhan Duran.

Which donor provides the "best" health aid, and why is it a relevant question? We attempted to answer these questions by adapting the Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) methodology to health aid. To be honest, one working paper later, we still do not have a definite answer to either question.

The U.S. QuODA Score Improves with IATI Signing

This is a joint post with Will McKitterick.

When the second edition of the Quality of Official Development Aid (QuODA) index was released, I blogged on the poor score for the United States and had suggested that signing onto IATI – the International Aid Transparency Initiative – was one easy way to improve its grade.