Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Health is one of the largest and most complex sectors of foreign aid: in recent years, about 15 cents of every aid dollar went to global health. While health is often cited as one of the few undisputed aid success stories, there is little quantitative analysis of the quality of health aid, and some studies suggest that health aid does not necessarily improve health outcomes.

This brief summarizes and updates results of the Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) index applied to health aid and compares these results to the overall QuODA assessment. By quantifying performance on aid effectiveness, the authors hope to motivate improvements in health aid effectiveness and contribute to the definition of better, more empirically based measures of health aid quality. They identify the following policy implications:

  • Even imperfect aid effectiveness indicators suggest there is plenty of room to improve donor performance
  • Measures under the fostering institutions dimension are inadequate
  • More and better aid effectiveness data are needed
  • A shift from discussing aid effectiveness to development effectiveness is needed

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