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Manage risk and achieve results

Strengthen the enabling environment to allow national ownership for domestic accountability to take root and flourish. Development assistance can facilitate information exchange and learning by bringing like-minded actors together. Realise the limits to the effectiveness of assistance on its own and accept that progress is likely to be non-linear and erratic. Develop more effective results frameworks to 1) identify realistic programme objectives at the outset; 2) correctly gauge and manage risks; and 3) understand better what works and why.

Ensure development assistance does not undermine domestic accountability Be aware of the overall magnitude of development co-operation in a given country, and be attentive to dynamics that may subvert or undermine accountability relationships between governments and their citizens. Adhere to the Paris Principles on Aid Effectiveness. Be transparent about how much development co-operation is being given and what for; ensure that development assistance is fully integrated into public budget systems; and take a “portfolio” approach to development co-operation programming in specific countries, combining a range of different development co-operation approaches. Finally, use development co-operation instruments that improve donor co-ordination and collaboration, to divide labour across the local development assistance community.


These strategic actions will require some changes in donor approaches, including different roles, new forms of assistance, adjustments to funding modalities and new approaches to risk and results management. There will need to be wholesale shifts in behaviour by parts of the development assistance community, moving outside conventional comfort zones and changing reflexes towards new approaches to risk taking and political engagement. While this poses challenges which need to be understood, managed and implemented cautiously, the risks of not changing may be greater.

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