Results Report 2009 - Aid and economic development: Ripples in the water or a drop in the ocean?
Development assistance is small, both in size and as a force for change. Other capital flows to and from developing countries are both larger and more important. Most important of all are the political and economic actors in developing countries – from government leaders to small farmers. Development assistance improves the political and institutional conditions for economic development. Examples from Malawi, Uganda and Vietnam show that the way aid is used, is more important than the amount. This is Norad’s third report on the results of Norwegian development cooperation. The 2009 Results Report investigates the private sector as a target, channel and partner in development cooperation. The findings are often encouraging, with many examples of positive contributions to economic development. The Report collates international research, which rejects claims that aid is wasted and undermines economic growth. The Report shows that the economic impact of Norwegian aid varies. Major initiatives, in areas such as clean energy, women-oriented programmes, climate-adapted agriculture and forestry, as well as efforts to fight corruption and the depletion of natural resources, will improve both the direct and the long-term impacts of Norwegian aid for economic development.