On July 20, 2022, Belinda Archibong, assistant professor of economics, participated in a closed-door roundtable conversation hosted by the Brookings Institution. The participants met to discuss the newly published World Bank report Understanding Trends in Proliferation and Fragmentation for Aid Effectiveness During Crises.
With the increase in donations from developed countries to developing countries, concerns have been raised regarding aid effectiveness and transaction costs for recipient countries. As opposed to earmarked project support, the broad budget support from donors who intended to fund specific projects where they would receive credit resulted in fewer funds for recipient countries to decide how the money would be used. The researchers also brainstormed the consequences of fragmented health aid during public health crises when liquidity is necessary, the use of cash transfers for social protection in crises, and what an ideal aid infrastructure looks like.
The participants recognized pooled funding as a solution to these issues and emphasized that diversity of donors also has certain benefits, particularly for funding innovation. Though emerging in unilateral aid channels, the trends have not been as prominent for multilateral aid channels, leading the participants to encourage greater use of additional outlets such as the International Development Association. This roundtable marks a step toward bringing the issues of aid effectiveness, proliferation, and fragmentation back to the international agenda.