Improving aid: consensus or competition?

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The aid community has undergone sweeping changes since the 1960s when the number of donors per recipient country averaged at 12. Today this figure is 33 and the number of organizations exceeds 230.

The multitude of donor-driven initiatives spurred efforts to streamline aid, such as Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRS), but with little success. Most middle-income countries, home to 80 percent of the developing world's population, opted out of PRS and new emerging donors China and India, with $2 and $1 billion contributions respectively, change the nature of global aid.

It's now easier than ever to borrow from capital markets – 90 percent of the world's developing countries accessed the syndicated loan market and 40 percent issued sovereign bonds. As a result, the World Bank revised its lending policies cutting fees and raising lending limits striving to compete with other development banks.

For the "road ahead" read a very good short study by Joseph O'Keefe, the former head of corporate relations at IFC, and now a scholar at Brookings.

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