IFAD No1 for development aid, FAO 40th, CDG report says

IFAD headquarters in Rome

  ROME - The Centre for Global Development has published a report on the Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) measuring and comparing the performance of 49 countries and global agencies providing “impactful long-term development assistance to countries in need.”  According to 17 indicators, the Rome-based IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) was the top ranked organisation, with Sweden placing as the top ranked country. The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), also based in Rome and IFAD's sister agency, came in at 40th overall in what FAO watchers said is a severe indictment of the policies of the Chinese Director General Qu Dongyu.

 This is the 5th edition of the report.  The 17 indicators are grouped into four dimensions: prioritisation, which “measures how well allocations are targeted to respond to long-term development challenges,” ownership, which “captures how well providers work with […] countries to promote domestic ownership and use of national systems,” transparency, which measures the comprehensiveness and timeliness of data reported on their development activities, as well as how much of the development assistance is tied to procurement of some kind for the provider country. Finally evaluation, which “assesses the quality of providers’ learning and evaluation systems.”

  IFAD’s close partners, the African Development Fund (AfDF) and World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), came second and third respectively. 

  The President of IFAD, Gilbert Houngbo, has said the report “is a testament to the importance we place on ensuring that every dollar spent has a long-term impact on tackling the hunger and poverty experienced by the world’s most vulnerable people… It also highlights the transparency of our funding model, the alignment of our work with countries’ own development priorities, and the importance we attach to evaluating our work.”

  Six of the top 10 aid providers are multilateral agencies, with the only other countries in the top 10 being Finland (8th), Denmark (9th) and Canada (10th). 

  In a ranking of countries by the quality and quantity of aid, only seven countries were above average in both quality and quantity: Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The general trend of this data is that aid quality tends to rise with the quantity of aid.

  The five last ranked providers overall are all countries: Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia and Greece, however, as only 29 countries are included in the rankings, a global picture is less clear.

  The FAO, a specialised agency of the United Nations, ranked 40th overall (18th of the 20 multilateral aid organisations), and came 43rd and 44th respectively in prioritisation and ownership.

  The QuODA report, compiled by Ian Mitchell, Rachael Calleja, and Sam Hughes, concluded that “for country providers and policymakers, there is a clear and consistent message: using the multilateral system can support development effectiveness… While performance is not uniformly better in all multilateral agencies, these agencies tend to ensure that funding reaches recipient countries and generally have a stronger focus on targeting ODA to where need is greatest.”

  It added, however, that “while the multilateral system is not without problems—work to reform multilateral development finance to improve its efficiency, accountability, and impact is ongoing—this year’s QuODA results suggest that some multilaterals are well positioned to support quality ODA actions. Multilaterals are particularly well-placed to help countries respond to COVID-19, with global reach, broad mandates and expertise, an array of financing instruments, and knowledge of local contexts.”