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European Commission and aid effectiveness

The European Commission's approach to aid effectiveness is reflected in the European Consensus on Development . The quality of aid is of utmost importance for the European Commission which is monitored against concrete targets agreed internationally such as the Paris Declaration (2005) and the Accra Agenda for Action (2008).

A threefold approach

Increasing the effectiveness of aid means ensuring that aid helps developing countries to improve the welfare of their poorest populations. For this reason, aid must be genuinely focused on development priorities set by these countries.  Developing countries bear the primary responsibility for their own development, but the EU accepts its share of responsibility and accountability for the joint efforts undertaken in partnership.

European Commission's (EC) commitment to increasing the effectiveness of aid, including its own, is taken forward at three interlinked levels through:

Influencing at the international levelthrough the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness, hosted by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and development (OECD)

Coordinating and promoting at the level of the European Union(EC plus the 27 member states) to increase the effectiveness for more than half of global development assistance it provides.

Implementing the European Commission's commitmentson aid effectiveness through its annual development assistance programme (approx. €8 billion) that is implemented globally through around 150 EU delegations worldwide.

Key points

The DAC of the OECD launched the Paris Declaration in 2005, an international agreement to which over one hundred signatories committed their countries and organisations to increase efforts in harmonisation, alignment and managing aid for results with a set of monitorable actions and indicators.  The Accra Agenda for Action was drawn up by DAC as well in 2008 and builds on the commitments agreed in the Paris Declaration.

The EU is fully committed to make progress on the five guiding principles of the 2005 Paris Declaration on improving aid effectiveness:

  • Ownership: Developing countries set their own strategies in poverty reduction.
  • Alignment: Donor countries align behind these objectives and use local systems.
  • Harmonisation: Donor countries coordinate and simplify procedures and share information.
  • Results: Focus on measured development results.
  • Mutual Accountability: Donors and partners are accountable for development results.

As a member of the OECD-DAC the European Commission has been at the forefront of these international fora to improve the impact of development cooperation and has consistently encouraged increased effectiveness of global development assistance by aiming for ambitious targets and reforming the way it delivers aid in order to meet those targets.

Office Quality Support Groups

Office Quality Support Groups (oQSGs) perform peer reviews of EuropeAid’s external assistance activities. The oQSG mechanism helps to improve the design of aid measures at the identification and formulation stage. The groups make use of in-house expertise and best practice culled from previous projects and programmes.  Five oQSGs are currently operating, one for each of EuropeAid’s four geographic regions, and one dealing with measures funded through thematic budget lines.

Monitoring results

Internal monitoring

The internal monitoring of projects is a key part of EuropeAid’s quality assurance activities. The Commission Delegations in partner countries are responsible for the monitoring of projects and programmes implementation. This process is supervised by the geographical Directorates in EuropeAid.

Results oriented monitoring

A results oriented monitoring system (ROM) helps EuropeAid assess project results. Independent experts carry out regular on-site assessments of projects and programmes. They check progress towards stated objectives using highly structured methodology.  ROM provides important information for internal monitoring and makes a positive contribution to improving project quality and performance.


Last update: 17/02/2012 | Top