Aid efficiency & focusing on the important things

(with apologies to DR who doesn’t make the rules)

Informal chat with a Donor Representative (DR), 2009

MJ Presumably the NGO projects will be much more efficient than the government ones.
DR Yes, we expect that. But they won’t be the most efficient.
MJ Oh? Who will be the most efficient?
DR The private sector.

Meeting with Donor reviewing progress on a grant we have from them, 2011

(Same donor representative, DR)

DR We’re a bit concerned about this capital expenditure here [value < 0.5% of budget] which was not in the original budget and not approved by us.


And that, my friends is why the private sector will always be more efficient than NGOs.

But seriously, putting aside the nit-picking, what, at the end of the day, are your public interested in? (This is a bilateral donor.) The answer is impact. If you stopped worrying so much about the little things (including in your work with government), and instead focused on the impact bottom line, everybody would be much happier. If an aid recipient can deliver great service to its beneficiaries who cares how many Land Cruisers they buy? I guess this is what COD aid is all about.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: