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Published on September 23, 2010

Effectiveness of Multilateral Aid Agencies: Understanding stakeholder views

Past projects

By Simon Burall

Simon Burall is a Senior Associate of Involve. He has extensive experience in the fields of democratic reform, governance, public participation, stakeholder engagement, and accountability and transparency.

Involve was commissioned to support stakeholders to feed their views about the effectiveness of multilateral aid agencies into DFID’s Multilateral Aid Review.  Nearly half of DFID’s total programme funding is provided through multilateral organisations. The coalition Government wanted to review the aid programme in order to maximise value for money from these contributions through multilateral organisations. The views of stakeholders formed an important part of this review.

In order to understand stakeholders’ views of multilateral agencies, Involve designed and ran a stakeholder workshop for senior African government officials during the Second Regional Meeting on Aid Effectiveness, South-South Cooperation and Capacity Development in Tunis in November 2010. A workshop format was used in order to give the participants a chance to deliberate with their peers and deepen their answers in a way that a survey or questionnaire would be unable to do.

The objectives of the workshop were to identify partner views on the effectiveness of multilateral donors. In order to stimulate thought and capture these views, partners were asked to identify the top three multilateral donors who they thought should:

  • Receive an increase in funding from DFID; and
  • Receive a cut in funding from DFID.

Partners were asked to explain their choices giving concrete examples where possible.

All materials were provided in both English and French and simultaneous translation was also provided during the plenary sessions. However, to allow for free flowing discussion, tables were either English or French speaking. The workshop gave individuals the opportunity to talk and think about the questions, which resulted in considered responses.

Involve’s report analysing the views of the country officials and civil society representatives present and can be read here and is included in the annexes of DFID’s Multilateral Aid Review. The full report can be read here.

For more information on this project please contact Simon Burall at

Image used: Africa by africa

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