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Forum for the Future of Aid

Southern Voices for Change in the International Aid System Project

The Forum on the Future of Aid is an online community dedicated to research and opinions about how the international aid system currently works and where it should go next

organised by ODI

Development Aid and National Ownership: A review of critical experiencs from Africa

By Nachilala Nkombo

Ownership is at the core of the paradigm assessing the missing link between signifi cant development aid infl ows from the North and poverty reduction outcomes in the South. Central to this paradigm, is the belief that the way aid is delivered, as well as the origin of the related policy reforms, matter in making aid more effective (Ohno, 2005; World Bank, 2003). Despite this consensus, research shows that actualization of ownership cannot be taken for granted (Schlure/ Klasen, 2004). Thus, this paper shares insights on key experiences from several African countries in ensuring ownership of aid programmes. These include good practice measures and factors that hinder the implementation of good advice on ownership. This piece also highlights major gaps in research, whose accumulated knowledge would help improve ownership or appreciate its real limits. Section two of the paper outlines the conceptual debate on ownership, section three analyses ownership experiences , section four highlights the influence of domestic politics on ownership and section fi ve sums up the findings and research gaps.

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