Feb 23, 2012

Quality of health aid

Glassman and Duran from the Center of Global Development claim in their new paper, "An Index of the Quality of Official Development Assistance in Health:"
Abstract: Health is one of the largest and most complex aid sectors: 16 percent of all aid went to the health sector in 2009. While many stress the importance of aid effectiveness, there are limited quantitative analyses of the quality of health aid. In this paper, we apply Birdsall and Kharas’s Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) methodology to rank donors across 23 indicators of aid effectiveness in health. We present our results, track progress from 2008 to 2009, compare health to overall aid, discuss our limitations, and call for more transparent and relevant aid data in the sector level as well as the need to focuson impact and results. [Graphs are from the papers]. HT: SSRN.

The authors conclude:
It is, once again, very important to stress the caveats involved in our analysis: while we rank donors in four dimensions, and an overall dimension, these rankings should be taken with a grain of salt. We are publishing all of our data, code and results, so our readers can implement the weights they want or omit certain indicators and re-rank donors.

In the end, we see that what we leave out is as significant as what we include: every index, or ranking, omits crucial indicators, but in our case it could be debated that what we leave out is even more significant than what we include. Yet, given all these caveats, our principal aim is to generate a discussion over quantitative sector-level aid effectiveness measures, and let recipients hold donor agencies accountable.

The Busan High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, held in November 2011, addressed certain issues such as transparency, aid in fragile states and the emergence of new donors, yet failed to address others such as the shift from aid effectiveness to development effectiveness (results). Effective health aid, as we have pointed out repeatedly in this paper, saves lives, and as donor funding flat lines and decreases, commitment to better outcomes must be reaffirmed. We hope the findings of this index nudge donors in the right way.

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