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Open Access Capstone

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This study reviews aid fragmentation and implementation effectiveness using a textbook production and distribution project in Afghanistan as a case study. The aid effectiveness debate has been part of the development discussion for both academics and practitioners since the beginning of modern aid. An overall consensus exists that development aid programs are not as effective as they should be. The debate over aid effectiveness has intensified in the last two decades and a series of international forums on aid effectiveness convened in this period, the most prominent of which are the High Level Forums on Aid Effectiveness, hosted by the OECD.

In these aid effectiveness forums, International development stakeholders committed to aid effectiveness, proposed principles for good implementation practices. One of the main reason for aid ineffectiveness identified is aid fragmentation which may lead to increased transaction cost, duplication and corruption. The aid effectiveness forums proposed a division of labor among donors for effective harmonization and complementarity among development partners.

To see the result of the internationally committed principles in the country-level practices of the donors and their implementing partners, I used a textbook provision project in Afghanistan as a case study to examine aid fragmentation and its effects on aid effectiveness. For this purpose, using a qualitative approach, I interviewed officials from different organizations, including donor agencies and the Afghan government to better understand the effect of aid fragmentation on textbook provision. Based on the interviews, I also provide some other examples of aid fragmentation and ineffectiveness. This case study demonstrates how aid fragmentation and lack of an overall donor coordination architecture prevent aid effectiveness.