Economics at your fingertips  

Bypassing Government: Aid Effectiveness and Malawi’s Local Development Fund

Michael Chasukwa and Dan Banik
Additional contact information
Michael Chasukwa: Department of Political and Administrative Studies, University of Malawi, Malawi
Dan Banik: Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo, Norway

Politics and Governance, 2019, vol. 7, issue 2, 103-116

Abstract: Many practical and action-oriented international roadmaps to improve the quality of aid and its delivery and impact on development—including the Paris Declaration, Accra Agenda for Action, and Busan Partnership—emphasize a more active involvement of domestic institutions and procedures. Despite widespread agreement among both donor and recipient countries on this issue, we find that aid often tends to bypass national institutional structures. This practice is sometimes justified on grounds of high levels of political and administrative corruption and weak implementation capacity in recipient country bureaucracies. We examine how and to what extent multilateral and bilateral development agencies bypass national and local government institutions while channeling aid and the impact of such practices on aid effectiveness in Africa. Based on an empirical study of project aid and budget support provided to Malawi by the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the German Economic Group, we argue that earmarked funding, specialized procurement arrangements, and the proliferation of Project Management Units are among the mechanisms used to circumvent the involvement of national institutions. We conclude that while such practices may achieve short-term gains by displaying successful and visible ‘donorship’, the long-term impact is more uncertain. The bypassing of local institutions results in fragmentation of aid, lack of coordination among aid industry actors, and a general weakening of policy space and domestic capacity to formulate and implement development policy.

Keywords: Africa; aid; development; institutions; Malawi; policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (text/html)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in Politics and Governance from Cogitatio Press
Bibliographic data for series maintained by António Vieira ().

Page updated 2019-06-22
Handle: RePEc:cog:poango:v:7:y:2019:i:2:p:103-116