Assessing the Quality of Aid for Agriculture

Edward Collins
August 21, 2012

New international initiatives signal strong commitment to agriculture and food security in the face of growing demand and climate-change challenges. But aid to agriculture still represents just five percent of total official development assistance. With donor budgets under intense pressure, making aid effective is more important than ever, but we still know relatively little about the quality of aid in general and of agricultural aid in particular.

The Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) project, a joint initiative of the Center for Global Development and the Brookings Institution, is one effort to address this knowledge gap for aid in general. This paper presents the results of applying the QuODA methodology to agriculture, explains the limitations of the approach, and compares donor performance with the original QuODA results.

The authors find donors rank similarly in both Ag QuODA and the original. They also find that quantitative assessments of aid at the sector level suffer from constraints of data quality and availability and encourage the continued improvement of sector-level aid data and the use of more and better independent impact evaluations to measure development effectiveness for agricultural aid projects.

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