Aid effectiveness has long been disputed. For many years this debate has been fought out at the macro level, though with little consensus.
Yet there is also a very large body of evidence from micro studies carried out at the field level of aid-supported projects. What do they tell us about aid effectiveness?
Although, as outlined in Section 2 of this article, project evaluations have been criticised for several biases, a new generation of studies is emerging in official development agencies which are very arguably free of these biases. This issue of the IDS Bulletin presents examples of these studies from a number of agencies: Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs, USAID and the World Bank.
Section 3 of this introductory article outlines the methodological challenges to conducting quality quantitative impact evaluations, and Section 4 some of the practical issues involved. Section 5 offers conclusions.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 39.1 (2008) Introduction: Impact Evaluation in Official Development Agencies