Summaries To strengthen the help that programme aid gives to poor, we must strengthen its ability to increase the participation of the poor in growth. To do this requires a detailed appraisal during a programme’s preparation to identify the expected impact on poverty of both the resource transfer of aid and the accompanying policy changes. Without this information opportunities to strengthen growth’s benefits for poor people are missed. Our ability to evaluate the programme’s poverty impact is severely constrained if the programme does not have clear poverty objectives and if it fails to establish processes for collecting poverty information. To improve programme aid we must assess the implications of import support and debt relief for poverty, as well the implications of the countervalue funds provided by programme aid which can help to support budgets for pro?poor services and infrastructure. A range of participatory techniques and household surveys should be used to assess these effects, and national capacities to gather the necessary information should be improved as a key priority.