The current state of multilateral aid

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What is the future of multilateral aid? Renowned aid expert Richard Manning delivered a GEG Special Lecture on the future of international aid on 28 February 2014. Now Manning has authored a recent working paper that builds on this lecture to assess the current state and future prospects of multilateral aid.

Richard Manning is Former Chair of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee and recently served as Vice Chair of the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria’s replenishment and as Coordinator of the Replenishment of the African Development Fund. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government.

Abstract: The paper assesses the multilateral development financing system in the light of the replenishments of three key funds in 2013. It argues that the replenishments showed strong continuing support for each institution, but identifies challenges emerging from the reliance on traditional donors and the limited success in engaging major emerging economies. It underlines the significance of recent and prospective falls in the recipient client base, and notes the shifting balance between performance and need/fragility in determining multilateral aid allocations. The paper argues that both general and special purpose funds have their place, but that to sustain ownership in the more aid-dependent countries a ‘think twice’ policy remains appropriate before establishment of new special purpose funds.