Ugandan experiences with the Paris Declaration

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Publication Date: 
01 January 2011
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The Phase 2 Evaluation of the Paris Declaration in Uganda is part of a global evaluation comprising 23 country evaluations, and a number of development partner studies that have been commissioned by their Headquarters. It is part of the on-going monitoring of the implementation of the Paris Declaration (PD) and the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) currently being conducted by the OECD DAC Working Party on Aid Effectiveness.

Uganda is home to a population of 31.8 million people with a nominal per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of USD 500 per person in 2009. About 31% of the population currently falls below the national poverty line, one of the lowest in the East African Community. Growth in GDP has been above 6% per annum for the past eight fiscal years. The Gini coefficient is reportedly down from 0.43% in 2002/3 to 0.408 by 2005/6. Total aid disbursed to Uganda over the period from 2000/01 to 2008/09 rose to USD 1,120 million in 2003/04 before falling to USD734 million in 2005/2006 the year of signature of the PD. It immediately rose of a new peak of USD 1,277 million the following year but fell to a new low of USD512 million in 2007/08.

The aid architecture of Uganda is dominated by budget support which modality accounted for an average of approximately 42 % of total disbursements over the period from 2000/01 to 2008/9. This is followed by investment project assistance (29%) and project technical assistance (13%). There are more than 30 development partners present in Uganda. A major feature of this aid architecture is that the top three development partners together accounted for over three-quarters of disbursement in 2008/9. The largest donors are at present The World Bank, the European Commission, the United Kingdom, Denmark and African
Development Bank (AfDB). Among the medium scale donors are Ireland, Germany, United Nations, Sweden, Norway whilst smallest include donors such as Belgium, Austria, France, Italy and Japan.

The Phase 2 Evaluation of the Paris Declaration in Uganda is part of a global evaluation comprising 23 country evaluations, and a number of development partner studies that have been commissioned by their Headquarters. It is part of the on-going monitoring of the implementation of the Paris Declaration (PD) and the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) currently being conducted by the OECD DAC Working Party on Aid Effectiveness.

Uganda is one of the 57 Partner Countries that endorsed the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness on 2 March 2005 together with 22 development partners. The agreement lays down 56 commitments that define new ways of working between development partners and aid recipient partner countries which are aimed at improving the quality and impact of aid so as to accelerate achievement of Millennium Development Goals. The commitments are organised around five key principles of effective aid, namely: Ownership, Alignment, Harmonisation, Management for Development Results, and Mutual Accountability.

The Accra Agenda for Action came into being in September 2008, after the Phase I evaluation of the implementation of the Paris Declaration and the 3rd High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (2-4 September 2008) identified a number of additional concrete measures needed to deepen the implementation of the Paris Declaration. The AAA is a joint statement endorsed by ministers of developing and donor countries responsible for promoting development and Heads of multilateral and bilateral development institutions pledging their commitment to take bold action to accelerate progress in the achievement of the PD commitments. Twelve pledges were made through the AAA, namely to: broaden country level policy dialogue on development; strengthen the capacity of developing countries to lead and manage development; strengthen and use country systems to maximum extent possible; reduce costly fragmentation of aid; increase aid's value for money; welcome and work with all development actors; deepen engagement with civil society organisations; adapt aid policies for countries in fragile situations; focus on delivering results; become more accountable and transparent to the public for results; continue to change aid conditionality to support ownership; and increase the medium-term predictability of aid.

The overall objective of the Phase 2 Evaluation is to document, analyse and assess the relevance and effectiveness of the Paris Declaration in the country and its contribution to aid effectiveness and ultimately to development results, including poverty reduction. The purpose of the Uganda country study is primarily to answer the core evaluation questions on the effects of the Paris Declaration on both aid effectiveness and development results. The study assesses the effectiveness in this regard of development partners/agencies in the country, alongside that of the country stakeholders, and of the partnerships between them.

An important difference between the phase one and phase two evaluations is their focus. The first phase Evaluations of the PD took stock of the early implementation process looking mainly at inputs and early outputs that were used to feed into the 3rd High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held in Accra, Ghana, in September 2008. The second phase of Evaluations focuses on outcomes and results and is designed to answer the critical question of whether the intended long-term effects of the Paris Declaration are being achieved or advanced. Of particular importance and relevance to Uganda is the significance being placed on contextual issues in the evaluations, namely taking into account preconditions or enabling conditions that may have led to or inhibited positive development results supported by aid. Prior to the PD Uganda had well defined partner engagement frameworks around its Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) that are in many ways similar to the PD and therefore this fine distinction in the focus of the evaluation becomes significant.

The timing of the Phase 2 Evaluation coincides with the tabling and expected cabinet debate on the place of aid in financing the implementation of the country's new National Development Plan (2010/11-2014/15), a successor to the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP). In this regard, the key question to be answered is whether or not aid has been effective and whether the country should rely on more or less aid in the implementation of its national development programmes.

  • Extracted from the document, Phase II Evaluation of the Implementation of the Paris Declaration in Uganda, dated January 2011. The 146 page report can be accessed here.