Ethiopia’s Donors Rebut HRW Report: ‘No Systematic, Widespread Aid Misuse’[full text]
The Development Assistance Group[DAG] rejected the allegations of Human Right Watch[HRW] on the Ethiopian government. HRW alleged politicized aid management in its report, released on Tuesday, titled ‘Development Without Freedom: How Aid Underwrites Repression in Ethiopia’.[Read Here]
However, DAG Ethiopia dismissed the allegations in a press statement released today. DAG is a consortium of 26 donors, including IMF, WorldBank, USAID, European Commission. [See below DAG members list]
DAG noted that it commissioned an independent study on Ethiopia’s aid management and utilization ‘even before the earlier HRW report, One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure’. That is another HRW’s report issued on March 2010 and full of similar accusations on Ethiopia.
The study by DAG ‘did not generate any evidence of systematic or widespread distortion.’ Thus, DAG do not concur with ‘the conclusions of the recent HRW report regarding widespread, systematic abuse of development aid in Ethiopia.’
‘The DAG Aid Management and Utilization Study concluded that there are generally good accountability mechanisms and safeguards in place that provide checks on possible distortions.’ ‘These measures include a range of rigorous checks such as regular financial audits, independent evaluations, independently-commissioned surveys and field monitoring visits to make sure our aid achieves the intended development results and its benefits reach those who need them.’
Here is the Press Statement of DAG, released today.
Related materials(in this blog):
21 October 2010
The objective of development partners in Ethiopia is to provide assistance that supports effective development and poverty reduction and that reaches its intended beneficiaries. Respect for human rights is central to our work and to sustainable development. And some members of the DAG include human rights issues regularly in their dialogue with Government.
The aid provided by members of the DAG in Ethiopia is transforming the lives of millions of poor people through basic services such as healthcare, education and water, and long-term food security. Our programmes are directly helping Ethiopia to reach the Millennium Development Goals.
We take allegations of misuse of development assistance very seriously. That is why, even before the earlier HRW report, One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure , the DAG commissioned an independent Aid Management and Utilisation Study in Ethiopia to examine the vulnerability of the programmes we support to possible misappropriation.
We do not concur with the conclusions of the recent HRW report regarding widespread, systematic abuse of development aid in Ethiopia. Our study did not generate any evidence of systematic or widespread distortion. We, nonetheless, recognize that the programmes we support are not immune to the potential for aid misuse and have therefore included safeguard measures to address these risks. These measures include a range of rigorous checks such as regular financial audits, independent evaluations, independently-commissioned surveys and field monitoring visits to make sure our aid achieves the intended development results and its benefits reach those who need them.
The DAG Aid Management and Utilization Study concluded that there are generally good accountability mechanisms and safeguards in place that provide checks on possible distortions. The study recommended, however, that safeguards could be further strengthened to include a greater focus on, for example, transparency and independent monitoring. Donors in Ethiopia are working jointly to strengthen programme-specific systems, in line with the study recommendations. And we will take forward a second stage of the DAG study to review further the effectiveness of accountability measures and safeguards on the ground and to cover other important donor-financed programmes. We believe that implementation of such measures will further reduce the potential for the type of misuses with which the HRW report was concerned.
About the Development Assistance Group (DAG)
The Development Assistance Group (DAG) comprises 26 bilateral and multilateral development agencies providing assistance to Ethiopia. The DAG was established in 2001 initially as a forum for donors to share and exchange information. The main objective of the DAG is to ensure a more effective delivery and utilization of development assistance to Ethiopia.
DAG actively works within the Paris Declaration framework of Aid Effectiveness and Harmonisation to foster and catalyze police dialogue and co-ordinate support in the preparation, monitoring and evaluation of the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (Plan for Accelerated and Sustainable Development to End Poverty) and the universal Millennium Development Goals.
The day to day coordination of DAG is managed by a secretariat based within UNDP Ethiopia.
List of DAG members
African Development Bank (AfDB)
Austrian Embassy Development Cooperation
German Embassy – German Development Cooperation
Turkish International Cooperation Agency