Aid in a Post-2015 World

UNU-WIDER / May 2014

247 original studies were produced as part of the ReCom programme. Over 2010-2013 more than 300 researchers from 59 countries came together and provided evidence on what does and could work in development, and what can be transferred and scaled up. ReCom’s five thematic areas are summarized in comprehensive Position Papers on: Aid, Growth and Employment; Aid, Governance and Fragility; Aid and the Social Sectors; Aid and Gender Equality,  and Aid, Environment and Climate Change. Together this material offers an unprecedented insight into what moves societies forward, what achieves change and what aid can and does achieve.

The research programme was not meant to simply compile small ‘best practice’ projects, hoping that these might add up to systematic large scale impact. Instead the focus has been on synthesizing what aid has produced in terms of outputs and outcomes and on contributing to systematic thinking and reflection with a view to improving existing knowledge about development assistance.

An old saying suggests that success is not doing extraordinary things – but doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. High impact aid is associated with doing many ordinary things, but also with doing the extraordinary, in less than ideal circumstances. In aid’s daily practice, context, political acumen and sequencing are indispensable to complement technical proficiency and expert identification of needs. As we approach 2015, the task of achieving and sustaining large-scale impact – ‘going to scale’ – stands out as aid’s greatest challenge. 

Download the file below to read more about what we know about aid at the end of ReCom and what are the 15 key findings relevant to the post-2015 agenda here.

Browse the rest of the ReCom website provides access to all the working papers, videos and research summaries from the programme.