So recently, the UK Parliament‘s Commons Select Committee for International Development published a report titled Department for International Development’s Annual Report and Accounts 2011-12 (It was in response to this. See also this additional part.
Amongst the recommendations by the Committee, lead by the great Sir Malcolm Bruce, there was a warning:
…DFID should miss ODA calendar year spending targets where there are delays or cancellations to its planned projects and it does not have alternatives which provide good value for money.
A second warning/recommendation was:
About two-thirds of DFID’s expenditure in 2011-12, including nearly 40% of the Department’s bilateral expenditure (spending through country offices), went through multilateral organisations. This represents a major change in recent years and has been accompanied by a decline in general budget support to recipient Governments. DFID should carefully examine its growing multilateral expenditure and ensure that it has thoroughly examined other options such as greater use of local NGOs and sector budget support, especially as multilaterals have high costs and too often limited effectiveness. We recommend that DFID provide an annual report on the progress it is making on reducing the administration costs of multi-lateral agencies through cross-donor consensus. We commend DFID for demonstrating leadership in analysing multilateral costs and seeking to reduce them. We also welcome the Permanent Secretary’s willingness to look at making more use of ‘sector’ budget support.
Along came BOND, a consortium of British Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Here’s their response. One, DFID should just race to 0.7% and there’s nothing wrong with aid through multilaterals/IOs. Bond clearly believes that 0.7% is relevant despite Clemens and Moss researchm my articles: How dare you not legislate 0.7, 0.7%? 0.07%? 7%? The lure and wonder over how much aid countries should give and Philp Vernon’s extensive critique. BOND seems to think it’s ok to give aid to multilaterals despite the principal-agent theory’s issue that delegation can lead to “agency slack”.
BOND, wake up!!!