Policies matter to growth. The World Bank’s rationale for switching from project to programme aid conditional upon policy reform, was that aid would not be effective in countries in which policies were wrong. This view has been supported in subsequent analysis by the Bank’s Operations Evaluations Division, which has shown a higher than average return on projects in faster growing economies (World Bank 1993: 16–20. For an independent statement of the same view see ODI 1993). Can we disentangle the macroeconomic effects of the aid monies themselves from the effects of the policy reforms which the aid supports? One recent volume on the role of capital inflows in development deliberately avoided quantifying the contribution of aid flows to growth, arguing that country case studies showed domestic policies to be the primary determinant of a country’s development (Lele & Nabi 1991a): the roles of government, aid and policies are too complex to separate out. However, neither the student of aid effectiveness nor the aid manager can accept such an answer. Aid’s policy effects are importent and should be analysed. These effects may well turn out to be different from those of the actual funds, and so we should analyse the two separately.
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