Development Effectiveness in the “New Normal”: What Do the Changing Roles and Purposes of ODA Mean for the Effectiveness Agenda?

This paper explores how the roles and purposes of official development assistance (ODA) are changing and what these shifts mean for the future of the development effectiveness agenda. Using data obtained through a survey of officials working in development agencies and partner countries, this paper maps perspectives on the changing role and purposes of ODA as well as perceptions of the continued relevance of the effectiveness agenda and the Busan principles in this changing development landscape. Our results show that providers are increasingly prioritizing global challenges and private sector development as main purposes of ODA, and that the catalytic role of ODA is becoming increasingly important. In spite of substantive changes to the development landscape, survey respondents overwhelmingly thought that the current effectiveness agenda remains relevant – however, they also expressed the need to revise or renew the effectiveness principles to keep pace with changing demands. Working from our survey responses, we propose a basic framework for considering options for the future of the effectiveness agenda and conclude by proposing four possible paths forward.

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