Which donors are working in which countries and on what issues? How can country recipients of aid best identify those donors? Are donor governments themselves adequately aware of one another's presence and efforts on identical issues? These questions reflect key challenges facing donors of international assistance, country recipients of assistance, civil society, and other stakeholders working in the development field, and highlight issues can make it difficult to effectively negotiate, coordinate, and deliver programs. In the health sector such issues are particularly relevant given the proliferation in the number of donors providing health aid to low and middle income countries, and the amount of that aid during the last decade. Such issues carry a new significance in the current era of economic austerity, one that has led donors and recipients to seek more streamlined approaches to health assistance that achieve "value for money."
To provide some perspective on the geographic presence of global health donors and to help stakeholders begin to answer some of the above questions, the Kaiser Family Foundation is undertaking a series of analyses to describe the global health "donor landscape." Using three years of data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), we map the geographic landscape of global health donor assistance, looking both at donor presence and magnitude of donor assistance by issue area, region and country. The effort is intended to shed new light on donor presence within and across recipient countries, and to produce a set of figures and tools that stakeholders can use in both donor and recipient countries.
From at least the early 2000s, there have been organized efforts to push for greater transparency and better coordination between donors, and between donors and recipients. These calls contributed to a series of international declarations on aid effectiveness such as the 2002 Monterrey Consensus on Financing for Development and the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, in which donors and recipient nations agreed to adhere to a code of good practice and a set of principles that would guide and improve donor assistance. In part, the principles were designed to help alleviate some of the administrative burdens on countries from having multiple donors, and to increase the impact derived from donor fundingThey have also, more recently, focused on the importance of donor transparency for increasing "country ownership" by recipients of aid; that is, a country-led response to designing and implementing development programs.
In global health, uncoordinated donor activities can reduce efficiency and result in missed opportunities to leverage partnerships, streamline processes, and share experiences. While there have been several health-focused efforts aiming to improve donor coordination and donor transparency these challenges continue today and have gained new significance given the current economic environment. Indeed, with signs that donor assistance is flattening, there has been an even higher premium placed on improving coordination and leveraging existing funding and programs.
This report focuses on international assistance for malaria.