An Overview of the Paris Declarationon Aid Effectiveness & the New Aid Modalities

Aid Effectiveness and Women’s Rights Series, Primer No.1

An Overview of the Paris Declarationon Aid Effectiveness & the New Aid Modalities
In 2005 civil society organizations bore witness to the signing of the Paris Declaration on AidEffectiveness (PD)—history’s most recent agreement by donor and recipient countriesto reform the delivery and management of aid monies in order to strengthen its impact andeffectiveness. In 2005, more than 106.8 billion USD flowed in the form of Official DevelopmentAssistance (ODA) from bilateral and multilateral funding agencies to developingcountry governments.1 In fifty years of aid allocation, the beneficiaries of these publicmonies have rarely been women who are receiving a very tiny proportion of overall ODA.2Aid as a structuring device, process and resource has had debatable effectiveness in reducingpoverty, promoting development and supporting women’s rights.This Primer is dedicated to providing an overview of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the subsequent new aid modalities that have emerged.

In spite of the fact that the PD commits donor countries to a common set of principles and targets to achieve aid effectiveness, CSOs are calling for a number of reforms and deepening of the aid effectiveness based on a number of general concerns including:
• The new aid architecture needs to be more comprehensive of all development
stakeholders—particularly CSOs, including women’s organizations and movements.
• Too much focus on aid modalities: The emphasis is too centered on the “plumbing” or mechanisms of the aid delivery system, not enough on reducing poverty and inequality as expressed in the Millennium Development Goals. Evaluating aid’s effectiveness needs to be integrally linked to support for human rights, democratic governance, environmental sustainability and gender equality.
• More clarity on the implementation of the PD principles: An in-depth discussion of the meaning and impacts of the PD principles needs to take place, including the inputs of the CSOs particularly about the principles of ownership, alignment and accountability.
• Limits in monitoring commitments: Monitoring of the PD commitments in the
lead up to Ghana must be fully transparent and inclusive of civil society and women’s rights organisations.

  • Author: Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)