New Tool Shows US, Japan Lagging in Aid Effectiveness

There is room for improvement in the quality of official development assistance of the U.S. and Japan, a new aid tool reveals.

The Brookings Institution and Center for Global Development created the Quality of Official Development Assistance assessment, or QuODA, which quantifies aid effectiveness. The assessment features “annually updatable, objective indicators” falling under “four pillars of aid quality” including maximizing efficiency, fostering institutions, reducing burden, and transparency and learning, according to Homi Kharas of Brookings and Anirban Ghosh of the Wolfensohn Center for Development.

QuODA rates 31 donor countries and multilateral agencies.

“By measuring performance in a quantitative way, the assessment will put a spotlight on countries that perform well and those that are below their peers. This pushes the aid argument away from how much to how. Simply put, better understanding of donor actions can lead to better donor practices, ultimately resulting in more sustainable development,” Kharas and Ghosh write in a joint blog post published in the Brookings’ website.

QuODA, which will be launched Oct. 5 at the Center for Global Development, finds that no one donor nation or agency dominates across all four pillars. It also reveals that there is no relationship between the quantity and quality of aid. Some large donors including the U.K. and World Bank’s International Development Association score “relatively well,” while the U.S. and Japan perform “relatively poorly.”

The U.S. ranks 24th of 31 donors in all four pillars, although the Millennium Challenge Corp. scores “above average.”

The World Bank’s IDA ranks in the top 10 for each of the four pillars and is the only large donor to achieve such distinction. 

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.