Donor Government Relations in Sub-Saharan Africa

Funding Source: Research Executive Agency, European Commission (CIG #322228).
Project Duration: 3 years (1 September 2012 to 31 August 2015)

SAM_4113The project “Donor-Government Relations in Sub-Saharan Africa” aims to investigate why some bilateral and multilateral donors, particularly European donors, are increasingly willing to fund aid programs that give recipient-country governments more influence over where and how development aid money is spent, despite poor governance in many aid-dependent countries. It will build knowledge on (1) how foreign assistance changes domestic political opportunities and (2) the impact of new aid practices on domestic policy decision-making in aid-dependent countries.

While it is generally understood that aid dependence alters incentives for cooperation and good governance (often with negative results), the bargaining processes between donor agencies and recipient governments is relatively unknown. Additionally, there has been little scientific analysis of the impact of new aid programs, such as general budget support, despite their proliferation in recent years.

The research project will fill this gap by investigating three new aid modalities in four Sub-Saharan African countries: Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda. Data will be collected mainly through in-country fieldwork. The objective of the project is to generate fundamental scientific knowledge on donor-government relations that in the long-term will contribute to the design and implementation of more effective development assistance programs by European development agencies. Key outputs include not only scientific articles, but policy briefs, workshops in Sub-Saharan Africa, and a conference for policymakers and academics.

The project officially concluded in August 2015. Result Summaries are available here