Source: rubra; Flickr

Source: rubra; Flickr

The European Commission has published what it calls the EU International Cooperation and Development Results Framework’. This is a Staff Working Paper, but looks final rather than draft, and has been forwarded to Member States as such.

In this commentary, Simon Maxwell suggests further work, stating that

(a) it’s a good idea for an agency to have a results framework,

(b) it’s a hard act to pull off, and

(c) the Commission has made a creditable and credible stab at the exercise. Member States should certainly welcome the EU Results Framework. If they do not already have one of their own, they should start at once to prepare one.


With elections for the European Parliament looming, we collected some key facts on the EU’s aid programme. Here are 10 things to know about EU aidLargest aid donor! Use these graphics to find out about its size, importance and spending priorities.

Disagreement over the rules on aid spending between the European Parliament, on the one hand, and the European Commission and the Member States, on the other, is threatening to derail EU aid disbursements. As a result, there is a real risk that, in 2014, spending by the EU institutions may crash. Simon Maxwell and Mikaela Gavas warns that, if its own aid has stalled, the EU will lose credibility in pursuing its agenda on Financing for Development, and in engaging in the negotiations on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. Most importantly, aid recipients have planned for this money, and should not have their poverty-reduction programmes put at risk. Read the blog here.

Mikaela Gavas responded to the publication of the latest Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) report, and was quoted in an article by The Guardian:

“The report demonstrates how important a successful EU aid programme is to the delivery of Britain’s poverty reduction objectives in the world – and how important Britain’s influence has been on the results focus and value for money of European aid.  What’s clear from the report is that there is room for better engagement between DFID and the EU and that both sides have work to do if they are to make the best of the future relationship. We know there is potential for aid spent through the EU to have greater reach, greater scale, greater coordination and ultimately greater efficiency than when EU member states go it alone.”

Mikaela Gavas analyses the two latest reports on EU development aid, the UK’s House of Commons International Development Committee (IDC) inquiry published on 27 April, and the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) peer review published three days earlier. She finds that although the main findings of the evaluations were not dissimilar, the key takeaways from both reports are rather different and there are some stark contrasts between the two reports.

The 2012 DAC’s Peer Review of the European Union, published today, notes that, since the last review 5 years ago, the EU has taken important steps to make its aid more effective and give it more impact, which included organisational restructuring, streamlining the financial process, improving co-ordination, and working more with civil society.

However, the Review also notes that more progress is needed in a number of areas. It says the EU must: clarify the responsibilities of the EU institutions working on development; lower the administrative burden on EU staff and developing countries; monitor and communicate development results; and draw-up a coherent approach to working with developing countries emerging from conflict situations.

Read the full Review here.

OECD-DAC today published its latest figures on Official Development Assistance (ODA).  They showed that European Union ODA fell both in relative and absolute terms.

While EU members provided US$ 71.0bn in 2009, the amount fell to US$ 67.1bn in nominal terms, or US$ 70.8 when taking into account inflation and exchange rate movements.