Experiences with Results-Based Payments in Norwegian Development Aid

The two studies, Experiences with results-based financing in Norwegian development assistance (study 1) and the Basis for Decisions to use results-based payments in Norwegian Development Assistance (study 2) give an overview of the use of results-based financing (RBF) in Norwegian Development Assistance, investigate the basis for decision making at start-up, and give a summary of the experiences with RBF. RBF, or results-based payments, implies that: 1) the payment is based on achieved results, and 2) the relationship between payments and results is predefined. Payments may target states, organisations or individuals.  Norway has primarily used results-based financing in three sectors: health, forestry and climate change and clean energy. The main finding from these studies is that the basis for decision making for the use of RBF in these sectors has essentially been political and that results documentation, with some exceptions, remains limited. The two studies are commissioned by the Evaluation Department in Norad and written by Ottar Mæstad and Johan Helland from the Chr Michelsen Institute (CMI). In addition to the two studies, senior adviser Ida Lindkvist and director Per Øyvind Bastøe at the Evaluation Department, have written an accompanying discussion paper were they attempt to link findings from the commissioned studies and other research to the question of how to proceed with RBF in Norwegian Development Cooperation to ensure a better evidence base for decision making. They argue that while the health initiative to some extent is an exception all initiatives can benefit from more strategically embedding theory-based evaluations to ensure a better evidence base for decision making.