08 April 2011

Aid, corruption and freedom

A couple of weeks ago I referred in this blog to some analysis that Andy Sumner and I were doing with some colleagues at IDS. The preliminary results can be found here at the Global Dashboard blog.

The headlines:

* Over the next 4 years DFID bilateral aid will be spent in contexts that are rated more corrupt and less free.

* But the increases are not dramatic: DFID was already working in such contexts.

* For corruption, in South Asia, the % of bilateral aid spent in countries rated as very corrupt (Transparency International score of 2.9 or less) increases from 72% in 2010-11 to 80% in 2014-15. For Sub-Saharan Africa the corresponding increase is from 80% to 83%.

* For freedoms, in South Asia the % of bilateral aid spent in countries rated by Freedom House as "Free" goes down from 29% in 2010-11 to 21% in 2014-15, although the percent going to "Not Free" also goes down from 28% to 18% as the percent going to "Partly Free" countries increases from 43% to 62%. For Sub-Saharan Africa the % to Not Free countries increases from 44% to 48%, the % to Free decreases from 7% to 5% and the % to Part Free decreases from 49% to 47%.

These trends are not dramatic, although they are worsening (unless the indices change in the next 4 years). But the 2010-11 levels are perhaps surprising. In other words, DFID and others should already be thinking about how their operations can at least not contribute to a worsening of lack of freedoms and corruption and more positively how they can contribute to voice and choice.

This is why the accountability to taxpayer efforts must crowd in (not crowd out) efforts to increase accountability to citizens in recipient countries of how aid is used. We can't let corruption and lack of freedom be the elephant in the aid room.


Anonymous said...

I think your link is not working.

Anonymous said...


Lawrence Haddad said...

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in any case, here is the address