“Managing for results” is a key component of the Paris Principles of Aid Effectiveness.
The lack of a results focus is seen as a major reason why past aid efforts have yielded disappointing results.
Key messages from the review include:
- It is important first to take a step back and ask “are we targeting the right results?”
- RBA/RBF schemes do deliver the intended results but that is not necessarily enough
- Attribution is generally not possible
- It is unknown whether RBA/RBF schemes offer value for money or will continue to deliver results
- Conditionality doesn’t always help
- Results on RBA/RBF schemes promoting equity are mixed.
- Good design is very important
In conclusion, RBA/RBF schemes have a role to play but are no panacea. However, measurement is not always possible. This review recommends that DFID should adopt a positive but cautious stance. Schemes need to be tailored to local circumstances.
They should be well prepared, well designed, piloted and carefully monitored and then modified as and when any unexpected effects become apparent. RBF appears to work better for simple interventions which are provider led and where latent capacity exists.
Complementary actions will usually be required.