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  1. Matt Morris
    Matt Morris July 18, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Mark Baird’s reflections of the Aid Review carry weight, not just because of his extensive experience on aid and development policy, but also because of his sharp and insightful analysis. In his latest post for the Development Policy blog he gets to the crux of the scaling up challenge: consistent and disciplined implementation of the agreed reforms — in other words, sticking to the path.

    I share Mark’s assessment that some of the impetus will come from within AusAID, yet this alone will not be enough to achieve the Aid Review’s vision. It will also need more active engagement with the aid program from outside AusAID — to keep the aid program ‘honest’ and to foster ‘genuine debate’.

    And that’s why the aid transparency agenda is so important. AusAID is moving in the right direction, yet needs to be mindful that aid transparency is not just putting more stuff on the website, but putting in place systems to provide up to date and COMPREHENSIVE data on where aid is going, more detailed information on projects and better data on results, and routine publication of evaluation reports. This is important work — and as the Aid Review report notes, it is the ‘foundation’ of a good aid program not an optional add on. In my view, how well AusAID delivers on this reform will be a litmus test for its commitment to implementation of the Aid Review.

    The Government has agreed with the Aid Review’s recommendation to produce a ‘Transparency Charter’ by the end of the year and last week the Director General promised consultation with partners on the 2011-12 budget. Presumably AusAID will also consult on the four-year aid strategy and the medium term aid budget. These are important first steps in the implementation of the Aid Review, and it will be important keep a keen eye on these issues and share fresh ideas and feedback, including through forthcoming posts on the Development Policy blog.

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