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We at CGD, inspired by queries and suggestions from our local partners in the NGO world, including especially David Beckman, President of Bread for the World, are beginning to consider how we might construct a measure of the quality (beyond the quantity) of the aid programs of the major donors. We have some initial ideas, building on the measure already used in our Commitment to Development Index: extent to which aid is tied, extent to which it goes to countries with honest, accountable governments, and more . . see An Index of Donor Performace.
We are assessing the feasibility of other measures: How much aid goes through multilateral channels (and should we consider that a good thing?) How much aid is "poverty-focused"? On the ground in recipient countries, is donor country X coordinating with donor country Y (and UN and World Bank, etc.) --or colluding or competing or just part of a well-intentioned cartel, and does that make sense?
We welcome your comments on whether or why we should do this (to shape an agenda? to create more accountability?); your ideas for other dimensions of quality; your thoughts on practicality, your concerns about methods. . . and indeed any comments on our work on aid effectiveness.
CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.