AID Effectiveness and Capacity Building

Ash Hartwell together with CIE members Jacob Carter and Stephen Richardson led an interactive session based on their literature review of aid effectiveness USAID as part of a process to develop guidance and training on 'Government to Government' (G2G) aid in education. G2G, the key approach for aid under the Obama administration, is part of the US government’s initiative to become the world’s leading donor. Part of the team’s effort was to provide a toolkit for people in the field to use new aid modalities, and address the question, “What is effective aid with budgetary support?”


Ash began with a discussion of key concepts in the field, engaging the audience by asking them to define well-known acronyms in the field. Through this he began an introduction to different modalities of aid, structural aid frameworks  and policies, before summarizing the architecture of international aid to Education during the past fifteen years He then discussed how G2G plays out in regard to USAID's current priorities in the domain of education, which is shifting to change aid modalities.


Jacob Carter then led an activity about planning, based on major themes identified in documents and literature that he had reviewed. Jacob passed out these themes on slips of paper, and the audience was asked to work in pairs to discuss their reactions to their theme. Then members of the audience shared statements and what they discussed, as well as anecdotes about their experiences in with capacity-building, the impact of cultural conditions, and policy development.


Following that, Stephen Richardson led an activity centered on the challenge of developing capacity. He created an imaginary scenario of a donor country and a recipient country and asked the audience for input on how to conduct assessment, and how to raise awareness of conditions for acceptance of aid. This activity served to segue towards a definition of capacity, which Stephen showed in a visual model that included core capacity, technical capacity, and enabling environment.


The session ended with a question: “What is future of CIE (and all of us) if aid is moving more towards government to government funding rather than project-based?” This left the audience much to think about, in regards to future work on projects, future career paths,  as well as implications for further research.