International Aid in Transitions: A Guide for Recipients

September 5, 2016

Aid recipients, particularly those working through complex political transitions, often struggle to understand the motives and methods of donors, ending up all too often submerged with well-intentioned help that causes more confusion than anything else, according to a new report released on September 5th that was authored by two experts linked to the School of Public Policy and researched by four students from the school.

Navigating International Aid in Transitions: A Guide for Recipients provides aid recipients with a guide to finding their way through the complex aid machinery that descend on countries in transition from dictatorship or recovering from war. It suggests ways in which recipients can take back control over their own political and development processes despite the unequal relationships involved in aid.

Published by the Institute for Integrated Transitions in Barcelona, the report was co-authored by IFIT director Mark Freeman, UNU-Tokyo researcher Cale Salih, former SPP Visiting Professor Thomas Carothers, and Robert Templer, SPP Professor of Practice and Director of the Shattuck Center on Conflict, Negotiation and Recovery.

"The guide aims to clarify the kinds of international actors offering such assistance, their motivations and interests, the forms of assistance they offer, the theories of change on which their actions are based, and the sorts of operational issues that arise most frequently in practice. It is premised on the conviction that greater knowledge and tools on the part of those on the receiving side can appreciably improve the results of national transitions."

Research for the report was assisted by four SPP students – Gulnara Alimbayeva, Jeff Mills, Radka Pudilova and Boby Sabur – as part of their Passion Project work.

You can find the guide and overviews in English, Spanish, French and Arabic here.