Making European Commission aid more effective
The European Commission has made aid effectiveness a priority and has defined a strategy and action plans to implement and monitor the Paris declaration on aid effectiveness and subsequent commitments in the Accra Agenda for Action, confirmed by the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation agreed in Busan.
What has been achieved
The following document describes the actions implemented by EuropeAid to increase the effectiveness of EC aid [27 KB] . Some highlights are:
- Detailed action plan agreed and implemented across EuropeAid, to meet the Paris and Accra commitments.
- Aid effectiveness networks: To implement and monitor the action plan two aid effectiveness networks were set up, the first across EuropeAid services and the second across the 46 priority countries [26 KB] where EuropeAid spent 80% of its budget (average for 2003-2005).
- Capacity development in the European Commission: Besides reflecting aid effectiveness principles in the project and programme fiches, EuropeAid organised awareness raising and training on aid effectiveness for staff both in headquarters and in Delegations.
- Addressing internal constraints: EuropeAid has worked consistently to remove internal constraints to increased aid effectiveness by, among others, streamlining the number of aid instruments from 35 to 10 and revising legal and financial procedures.
- Accelerating priority actions: Further steps to accelerate progress on the priority areas of its action plan are being implemented. Gender, governance, and civil society organisations are specific priority themes. "Ten High Impact Actions for 2010" [26 KB] have been encouraged by the Director General to achieve concrete change in 2010 and is being monitored.
- Use of country systems: The 2012 DAC-Peer Review states that "the EU institutions have made strong gains in their use of country systems, including both public financial management and procurement." According to the OECD-DAC Monitoring on the implementation of the Paris Declaration, the EC has improved its performance in using partner countries public financial management systems (from 41% in 2005, to 49% in 2010) and partner countries' procurement systems (from 2005 42%, to 2010 47%).
- Division of labour: The EU toolkit [238 KB] was developed to support implementation of the European Union's Code of Conduct on Division of Labour. It is based on actual practice and examples at country level. The European Commission's study on Benefits of a European Approach [703 KB] shows the value for money to be gained from a less fragmented approach by donors in providing aid. A follow-up study was published in 2011.
- Technical cooperation and Project Implementation Units (PIUs): the Backbone Strategy [261 KB] outlines a radical change in the way technical cooperation in the EC is implemented, and emphasises the reduction of parallel PIUs.
Performance on aid effectiveness
Based on reporting from a limited set of countries (33 for the 2006 survey and 54 for the 2008 survey and 32 for the 2011 survey) that participated in the survey, EU Institutions performance (Table C8, page 172) is variable, with progress on track on some indicators, for example on coordinated technical cooperation, but not on track for other areas such as use of country systems.
Internally the EC annually monitors its performance through the External Assistance Monitoring Report (EAMR) submitted by Delegations. On the basis of this monitoring the action plans on aid effectiveness are revised. For example, with 2010 as the critical year for achieving the targets before the High Level Forum, EuropeAid launched the '10 High Impact Actions for 2010' which focused on making specific change in practice with regard to the use of country systems, division of labour, and technical cooperation including Project Implementation Units.