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African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD)

A critical assessment of aid management and donor harmonisation: The case of Mozambique

African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD)

2007

SARPN acknowledges AFRODAD as the source of this document: www.afrodad.org
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Executive summary

Mozambique is committed to the fight against poverty. The Government has adopted a number of well-articulated plans for poverty reduction and growth. These include Agenda 2025 (the national long term vision), which is the basis for the Five Year Programme (2005-2009) and the second generation of Action Plan for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty, (PARPA II, Mozambican PRSP II for the period 2006-2009). It has integrated the Millennium Declaration principles and the Development Goals into its national objectives.

International development assistance plays a crucial role in Mozambique's fight against poverty. The country's known reputation in various angles has made it a major destination of Official Development Assistance (ODA). Development partners have engaged in an ongoing and highly participatory dialogue in the context of PARPA. A group of 18 donors, known as 'G-18', currently provide budget support to Mozambique. It is premised on support for poverty eradication by: (a) Building a partnership based on frank and open dialogue on the content and progress of Mozambique's poverty reduction strategy, and (b) Providing financing for poverty reduction, clearly and transparently linked to performance, in a way which improves aid effectiveness and country ownership of the development process, reduces transaction costs, allows allocate efficiency in public spending, predictability of aid flows, increases the effectiveness of the state and public administration, improves monitoring and evaluation and strengthens domestic accountability.

Despite encouraging international resolutions that include the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid effectiveness and the G8 Gleneagles commitment to increase aid to Africa research evidence continue to point to the fact that a number of obstacles associated with aid modality, management, donor accountability and harmonization still need to be tackled if Africa is to successfully fight poverty. In Mozambique, claims have been made to the fact that aid is often not aligned to national priorities and programmes, most notably the PRSP and recipient African governments have been left with little choice but to accept them. Conditionalities that do not derive from national programmes and not subject to wide consultation risk weak implementation and conflict. Different donor conditionalities also tend to conflict and to be excessively numerous rising from donor prescriptions rather than national consensus. Lastly conditionalities tend to vary widely and the lack of harmonization and lack of harmonization conflicts with national consensus.

The main focus of this research is to study the Mozambican aid architecture, examining how funds are transmitted to Mozambique and its impact on development efforts, how recipients and donors interact in such processes, how aid is coordinated at the country level, and how broad-based are the national planning processes and aid delivery mechanisms.

The main findings were:

  • Although short term predictability of aid appear to have improved, mid to long run predictability has not.


  • Donors have to harmonise and align more their internal procedures and planning systems with the demands of mutual accountability. From the review and consultations, it was obvious that many donors were not well familiar even with the matrix of their performance indicators.


  • Although with many positive aspects, the apparent partnership between donors and government has been focused on procedures - how to do things - but little attention has been placed on actual directions, strategies and policies, and all requisites of the Paris Declaration.


  • There is a need to improve government-donor data base and information system.


  • There is a need to develop a wider and more accurate framework to identify and significantly reduce un-necessary administrative and transaction costs. Controlling the number of missions is effective in reducing them, sometimes quite dramatically, and this is also extended to donors' internal administrative burdens and transaction costs.




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