Over the last few years, many of the world’s major foreign aid donors have implemented sweeping policy and operational reforms that continue to change the way official development assistance is applied. Broad themes and principles such as “aid effectiveness,” “country ownership,” and “value-for-money” now underpin the engagement or cooperation strategies of donors across the world. The common strategic objective: harmonize programmable aid with the needs and priorities of recipient countries and apply assistance in a coordinated and meaningful way that maximizes taxpayer money and produces results on-the-ground.
One very important step donor agencies are taking to meet this objective is the formal development and publication of what Devex will call Country-Level Donor Strategies.
The U.S. Agency for International Development is now in the process of preparing five-year “country development cooperation strategies,” or CDCS, for the roughly 70 countries where it operates. Citing a commitment to aid effectiveness, the Australian government has implemented a formal, multiagency process for developing and maintaining its “country strategies” which articulate the Australian government’s aid engagement strategy in each country in which it provides development assistance. The U.K. Department for International Development recently released its full series of “operational plans” for 2011-2015 and the European Commission has published a set of “country strategy papers,” or CSPs, for the period 2007-2013.
For some time now, Devex researchers have been digging into these strategy documents. We have discovered that there are some very valuable insights worth sharing with Devex members, particularly those implementing partners looking to bid on projects, but the strategy documents can be difficult to locate and read through. Some of them also lack critical context and funding details that implementers simply need to know to bid and work effectively.
Devex is going to make it easier. Beginning this week, we will be reporting regularly on Country-Level Donor Strategies – a new service offering that will go beyond what donors are publicizing to capture and characterize donor strategies, priorities, programs, and funding levels in specific countries. We’ll start our coverage of four agencies – USAID, the Australian Agency for International Development, DfID, and EuropeAid – but will gradually expand to cover other key donor agencies as well. Ultimately, Devex Country-Level Donor Strategies will be searchable and link to other reports already familiar to our members such as early intelligence, projects, and tenders, painting a more complete picture of donor engagement and project opportunities at the country-level.
For members, please log in and check out our first Country-Level Donor Strategy report: DfID in Ethiopia.
We’re very excited about this new initiative and believe it will add a critical dimension to our coverage of the global development business.