Today, the Guardian published an article by the authors of an ACTION project report titled: ‘Aid without Impact: How the World Bank and Development Partners Are Failing to Improve Health through SWAps’, which evaluates the effectiveness of Sector Wide Approaches (SWAps) for health.
SWAps are a funding mechanism that allow donors to pool their funding for a particular sector, in this case the health sector, to enable efficient administration and to facilitate a country-led and country-owned process.
The article goes through the findings of the report in an engaging easy-to-understand way, concluding with recommendations for how to improve the performance of SWAps:
Fixing SWAps requires development authorities to shift their priorities. These programmes need to focus obsessively on the achievement of better health for poor people. They need to be reviewed at least once every two years by an independent group to determine if they’re on track to meet pre-established health metrics. The results of these analyses should be publicly available. The Bank and its donor partners also need to link their financing more closely with performance. SWAps that aren’t meeting expectations should be restructured or defunded.
The article also mentioned Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell’s plans to introduce greater transparency and value for money in international aid, which were announced on Wednesday. In light of the research, the authors recommend SWAps as one of the top targets for reform.
We encourage you to read the full article and join the discussion around SWAps by adding your own comments!
Another article on the report also appeared in the Financial Times yesterday.