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Development Effectiveness – Concepts, players and tools

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In the context of the limited availability of development aid, there is an increased demand for effective results. This means that both developing and richer countries must commit to spending and using aid more effectively. Public funding is not enough to cover all needs, but it can leverage initiatives from civil society and the private sector. The increase in stakeholders and intervention methods, both in terms of numbers and variety, combined with the necessity to address needs in the field more precisely, has led to a global rethinking of how to assess development. High-level forums and stakeholder networks have helped to fine-tune the main principles of development effectiveness and to shift from a donor-recipient relationship to a more cooperative framework. Methods and tools have improved and led to better planning, implementation and appraisal of development projects. The EU has been closely involved in designing and implementing the effectiveness principles. The European Parliament often refers to them, insisting that they must not be sacrificed for the sake of short-term interests.

What is Development?

The concept of ‘development cooperation’ is now preferred to that of ‘development aid’, since it better reflects the shift from a donor-recipient relationship to more complex relationships between the various development partners, including NGOs and private philanthropists. Furthermore, while the concept of ‘aid effectiveness’ refers to the need to clearly assess and improve the impact of foreign aid on developing countries, that of ‘development effectiveness’ concentrates more on the results – ‘development‘ – than on the particular means to achieve these results. The latter concept captures the idea that public financial flows, and specifically official development assistance (ODA) from OECD member states, are only one aspect of development policies, while remaining a key asset of theirs. In practice, however, ‘development effectiveness’ is still often used to assess ‘development cooperation effectiveness’, rather than overall development outcomes.

what is effectiveness? development meaning

What is Effectiveness?

Borrowed from management science, the concept of ‘effectiveness’ involves ‘producing the intended results’, while ‘efficiency’ involves ‘performing in the best possible manner’. A project can therefore be efficient but ineffective (achieving the wrong goals), or effective but inefficient (at an excessive cost)

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