Aid effectiveness in fragile states Integrating the Paris Declaration principles into development programming
What are fragile states? • State is weak. Limited capacity to make decisions, safeguard citizens, deliver basic services and interact effectively with society. • Ongoing conflict/lawlessness, or a threat of a return to conflict. • Society is disrupted. Unreconciled grievances; disrupted social patterns; displacement of people.
What does the Paris Declaration say? • PD calls on partner countries to • Build institutions and governance structures • Work with donors on planning when no national development plan • Encourage broad participation of national actors • PD calls on donors to • Harmonise when no strong govt leadership • Align behind government led strategies • Avoid undermining national institution building • Use appropriate mix of aid instruments
Principles for good international engagement in fragile states and situations • long term vision: help national reformers build effective, legitimate and resilient state institutions • 10 principles: • Take context as the starting point • Do no harm • Focus on state-building as the central objective • Prioritise prevention • Recognise political, security and development links • Promote non-discrimination • Align with local priorities in different contexts • Agree on practical coordination mechanisms • Act fast, but stay engaged • Avoid pockets of exclusion
Australian aid to fragile states • More than any other bilateral donor • 2007-08: 50% of aid program (over $1.5b) • Why? Geographical proximity, policy to engage more intensively with fragile states in region. • Strong focus on small island states in Pacific • PNG, East Timor, Solomons, Vanuatu • 40% of Solomons GNP in 2007
How does Australia deliver aid in fragile states? • Programs centre on state-building: enhancing the machinery of government. • variety of Australian government departments involved, not just AusAID. • Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). • Enhanced Cooperation Program (ECP) in Papua New Guinea.
Lessons from Australia’s experience • 2007 Annual Review of Development Effectiveness • Mixed progress: • good results in establishing security and financial stability. • less so in health, education, employment, political stability. • Weak governance makes it harder to deliver effective aid. • Expectations need to be realistic. • Working in fragile states makes aid delivery more expensive. • This increases overheads and limits opportunities.
Success factors? • Success requires engaging in new ways • Working with communities to build capacity to demand better services • Strengthening partner government systems by using them • Building leadership quality • Encouraging better performance by governments through compacts and incentive payments • Long term engagement often crucial • Strong understanding of local social and political systems, and of drivers of change within these systems • Willingness to think outside the box – eg alternative service providers and non-state systems
Applicability of Paris Declaration? • Weak governance makes it difficult to implement the principles of ownership and alignment. • Many PD indicators not applicable (eg using partner systems) • In crisis situations, stability often needs to precede other objectives. • When this requires embedding outsiders in government systems (eg to re-establish law and order), this can work against the PD ‘ownership’ principle in the short term. • But in the longer-run gives systems a chance to prepare for more ‘pure’ Paris implementation.
Implications for Paris? • Principles for Good International Engagement capture the early consensus on best practice in fragile states • But future iterations should look at how to adapt practice to particular states/situations • What if a country has reached a protracted political impasse? • What if there is active conflict? • How should reforms be sequenced? • How can you pursue MDGs in a country where the state is barely functioning?