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A rethink on the use of aid mechanisms in health sector early recovery

Document type: report
Download file(s): 126737 (259 KB)
Abstract: Working in fragile states requires new strategies of engagement between governments and donors to improve aid effectiveness for the health sector. Aid to the health sector in settings that are recovering from conflict is often typified as addressing the tension between the (often conflicting) aims of immediate life saving and systems building. In addition, the early recovery phase is marked by differing degrees of partnering with the state. This can imply adopting a state-avoiding approach through humanitarian relief focusing on service delivery, or a more developmental approach whereby the state is seen as a partner with the primary aim of health systems building. This calls for more attention to the question of how aid mechanisms can effectively contribute to maintaining an uninterrupted resource flow during the transition from humanitarian to development aid, and how they can address the dual objectives of ensuring basic health services delivery while simultaneously building health sector systems. Based on experiences and findings from four case study countries (Liberia, Southern Sudan, Sierra Leone, Timor Leste), we have found that aid effectiveness can be improved during early recovery once we recognise that it is no longer applicable to gradually move from the use of traditionally “humanitarian” aid mechanisms to those which are conventionally considered “developmental”. Instead, early recovery systems require flexible solutions and experimentation where different objectives (service delivery, system building) and delivery modes (state, non-state) are creatively combined or used in parallel. This is more likely to be achieved by an appropriate mix and sequencing of aid mechanisms rather than by a singular approach. Management arrangements and design features of aid mechanisms undoubtedly influence aid effectiveness. This is even more crucial in early recovery settings, where government capacity tends to be weaker and more fragile, the change efforts are more complex, and financing needs can change quickly. Greater coordination in the choice and deployment of aid mechanisms while capitalising on relevant donor comparative advantages with particular regard to technical expertise in certain policy areas and /or operational procedures during early recovery is therefore recommended.
Authors: Vergeer, P. , Canavan, A. , Rothmann, I.
Country: Liberia , Sudan , Timor-Leste , Sierra Leone
Category: Research
Keywords: aid programmes , health , violence , humanitarian assistance , government
Language: eng
Organization: KIT - Royal Tropical Institute
PAGE: 37
Place: Amsterdam
Publisher: Royal Tropical Institute (KIT). Development Policy & Practice
Year: 2009
Region: West Africa , North Africa , Southeast Asia
Right: © 2009 KIT
Subject: Health and Nutrition
Title: A rethink on the use of aid mechanisms in health sector early recovery