Donors refusing to face the reality?

The Donors’ report produced in response to allegations of aid in Ethiopia being allocated according to political affiliation rather than need was published in early August, peak holiday time for many. As such, it’s perhaps not surprising that there has been very little reaction to it.

Today sees the first mention of the report on the internet. Bloomberg reports that Merera Gudina, the Chairman of the opposition Oromo People’s Congress, is “not enthusiastic” about the report and “fed up of complaining to donors when they are consciously refusing to know and/or knowing the truth but they are refusing to face the reality.”

I am not in a position to state authoritatively what the reality is. However, a casual observer of development and politics in Ethiopia would quickly conclude that the perspectives and priorities of donors and the Ethiopian opposition in relation to that reality are somewhat different.

The former US Ambassador to Ethiopia, David Shinn, called the report a “careful, thorough and rather bureaucratic response” to “highly charged allegations.”

Full Bloomberg report is here. Donors’ report is here.

Aid and Accountabilities in Ethiopia

In late 2009, the Development Assistance Group (DAG) – a group of 26 donors in Ethiopia – decided to conduct a review of the systems and safeguards that are in place in a number of donor-supported development programmes, and that are designed to ensure that aid is spent as intended. The review was in part a response to allegations that aid was being allocated according to political affiliation rather than need. I was heavily involved in this piece of work while in Addis. It was basically complete some time ago, but elections and protracted discussions with various stakeholders meant that its publication was delayed.

The report finally came out yesterday. It’s available here at the DAG website or, failing that, can be found here