Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness: Ownership, Harmonisation, Alignment, Results and Mutual Accountability, Paris, France, 2 March 2005

Sectors : Quality of aid, HIV/AIDS, Institutional development, Aid volume, Economic governance and public finance management
Organisation : OECD
Date made: 

Commitments in: Financing for Development - Quality of aid

“..1. We, Ministers of developed and developing countries responsible for promoting development and Heads of multilateral and bilateral development institutions, meeting in Paris on 2 March 2005, resolve to take far-reaching and monitorable actions to reform the ways we deliver and manage aid as we look ahead to the UN five-year review of the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) later this year…

...Scale up for more effective aid...

...3. We reaffirm the commitments made at Rome to harmonise and align aid delivery...we reaffirm our commitment to accelerate progress in implementation, especially in the following areas:

i. Strengthening partner countries’ national development strategies and associated operational frameworks (e.g., planning, budget, and performance assessment frameworks).
ii. Increasing alignment of aid with partner countries’ priorities, systems and procedures and helping to strengthen their capacities.
iii. Enhancing donors’ and partner countries’ respective accountability to their citizens and parliaments for their development policies, strategies and performance.
iv. Eliminating duplication of efforts and rationalising donor activities to make them as cost-effective as possible.
v. Reforming and simplifying donor policies and procedures to encourage collaborative behaviour and progressive alignment with partner countries’ priorities, systems and procedures.
vi. Defining measures and standards of performance and accountability of partner country systems in public financial management, procurement, fiduciary safeguards and environmental assessments, in line with broadly accepted good practices and their quick and widespread application.”


“39. Donors commit to:

• Harmonise their activities. Harmonisation is all the more crucial in the absence of strong government leadership. It should focus on upstream analysis; joint assessments, joint strategies, co-ordination of political engagement; and practical initiatives such as the establishment of joint donor offices.

• Align to the maximum extent possible behind central government-led strategies or, if that is not possible, donors should make maximum use of country, regional, sector or non-government systems.

• Avoid activities that undermine national institution building, such as bypassing national budget processes or setting high salaries for local staff.

• Use an appropriate mix of aid instruments, including support for recurrent financing, particularly for countries in promising but high-risk transitions.

41. Donors and partner countries jointly commit to:

• Strengthen the application of EIAs and deepen common procedures for projects, including consultations with stakeholders; and develop and apply common approaches for “strategic environmental assessment” at the sector and national levels.
• Continue to develop the specialised technical and policy capacity necessary for environmental analysis and for enforcement of legislation.”


Managing resources and improving decision-making for results

...44. Partner countries commit to:

• Strengthen the linkages between national development strategies and annual and multiannual budget processes.
• Endeavour to establish results-oriented reporting and assessment frameworks that monitor progress against key dimensions of the national and sector development strategies and that these frameworks should track a manageable number of indicators for which data are cost-effectively available (Indicator 11).

45. Donors commit to:

• Link country programming and resources to results and align them with effective partner country performance assessment frameworks, refraining from requesting the introduction of performance indicators that are not consistent with partners’ national development strategies.

• Work with partner countries to rely, as far as possible, on partner countries’ results-oriented reporting and monitoring frameworks.

• Harmonise their monitoring and reporting requirements, and, until they can rely more extensively on partner countries’ statistical, monitoring and evaluation systems, with partner countries to the maximum extent possible on joint formats for periodic reporting.”

46. Partner countries and donors jointly commit to:

• Work together in a participatory approach to strengthen country capacities and demand for results based management.


Donors and partners are accountable for development results

...48. Partner countries commit to:

• Strengthen as appropriate the parliamentary role in national development strategies and/or budgets.
• Reinforce participatory approaches by systematically involving a broad range of development partners when formulating and assessing progress in implementing national development strategies.

49. Donors commit to:

• Provide timely, transparent and comprehensive information on aid flows so as to enable partner authorities to present comprehensive budget reports to their legislatures and citizens.

50. Partner countries and donors commit to:

• Jointly assess through existing and increasingly objective country level mechanisms mutual progress in implementing agreed commitments on aid effectiveness, including the Partnership Commitments. (Indicator 12).”


“4. We commit ourselves to taking concrete and effective action to address the remaining challenges, including:

i. Weaknesses in partner countries’ institutional capacities to develop and implement results-driven national development strategies.
ii. Failure to provide more predictable and multi-year commitments on aid flows to committed partner countries.
iii. Insufficient delegation of authority to donors’ field staff, and inadequate attention to incentives for effective development partnerships between donors and partner countries.
iv. Insufficient integration of global programmes and initiatives into partner countries’ broader development agendas, including in critical areas such as HIV/AIDS.
v. Corruption and lack of transparency, which erode public support, impede effective resource mobilisation and allocation and divert resources away from activities that are vital for poverty reduction and sustainable economic development. Where corruption exists, it inhibits donors from relying on partner country systems.”


“5. ...In determining the most effective modalities of aid delivery, we will be guided by development strategies and priorities established by partner countries. Individually and collectively, we will choose and design appropriate and complementary modalities so as to maximise their combined effectiveness.

6. In following up the Declaration, we will intensify our efforts to provide and use development assistance, including the increased flows as promised at Monterrey, in ways that rationalise the often excessive fragmentation of donor activities at the country and sector levels.”


“Adapt and apply to differing country situations

...7. In fragile states, as we support state-building and delivery of basic services, we will ensure that the principles of harmonisation, alignment and managing for results are adapted to environments of weak governance and capacity. Overall, we will give increased attention to such complex situations as we work toward greater aid effectiveness.

Specify indicators, timetable and targets

8. ...We commit to accelerate the pace of change by implementing, in a spirit of mutual accountability, the Partnership Commitments presented in Section II and to measure progress against 12 specific indicators that we have agreed today and that are set out in Section III of this Declaration.

9. As a further spur to progress, we will set targets for the year 2010…We have agreed today to set five preliminary targets against indicators as shown in Section III. We agree to review these preliminary targets before the UNGA Summit in September 2005, and to adopt targets against the remaining indicators as shown in Section III; and we ask the partnership of donors and partner countries hosted by the DAC to prepare for this urgently…

Monitor and evaluate implementation

10. Because demonstrating real progress at country level is critical, under the leadership of the partner country we will periodically assess, qualitatively as well as quantitatively, our mutual progress at country level in implementing agreed commitments on aid effectiveness. In doing so, we will make use of appropriate country level mechanisms.

11. At the international level, we call on the partnership of donors and partner countries hosted by the DAC to broaden partner country participation and, by the end of 2005, to propose arrangements for the medium term monitoring of the commitments in this Declaration, including how frequently to assess progress. In the meantime, we ask the partnership to co-ordinate the international monitoring of the Indicators of Progress included in Section III; to refine targets as necessary; to provide appropriate guidance to establish baselines; and to enable consistent aggregation of information across a range of countries to be summed up in a periodic report. We will also use existing peer review mechanisms and regional reviews to support progress in this agenda. We will, in addition, explore independent cross-country monitoring and evaluation processes – which should be applied without imposing additional burdens on partners – to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how increased aid effectiveness contributes to meeting development objectives.”


Partner countries exercise effective leadership over their development policies, and strategies and co-ordinate development actions

14. Partner countries commit to:

• Exercise leadership in developing and implementing their national development strategies through broad consultative processes.
• Translate these national development strategies into prioritised results-oriented operational programmes as expressed in medium-term expenditure frameworks and annual budgets (Indicator 1).
• Take the lead in co-ordinating aid at all levels in conjunction with other development resources in dialogue with donors and encouraging the participation of civil society and the private sector.

15. Donors commit to:

• Respect partner country leadership and help strengthen their capacity to exercise it.

Donors base their overall support on partner countries’ national development strategies, institutions and procedures

Donors align with partners’ strategies

16. Donors commit to:

• Base their overall support — country strategies, policy dialogues and development co-operation programmes — on partners’ national development strategies and periodic reviews of progress in implementing these strategies (Indicator 3).
• Draw conditions, whenever possible, from a partner’s national development strategy or its annual review of progress in implementing this strategy. Other conditions would be included only when a sound justification exists and would be undertaken transparently and in close consultation with other donors and stakeholders.
• Link funding to a single framework of conditions and/or a manageable set of indicators derived from the national development strategy. This does not mean that all donors have identical conditions, but that each donor’s conditions should be derived from a common streamlined framework aimed at achieving lasting results…

Donors use strengthened country systems

...19. Partner countries and donors jointly commit to:

• Work together to establish mutually agreed frameworks that provide reliable assessments of performance, transparency and accountability of country systems (Indicator 2).
• Integrate diagnostic reviews and performance assessment frameworks within country-led strategies for capacity development.

20. Partner countries commit to:

• Carry out diagnostic reviews that provide reliable assessments of country systems and procedures.
• On the basis of such diagnostic reviews, undertake reforms that may be necessary to ensure that national systems, institutions and procedures for managing aid and other development resources are effective, accountable and transparent.
• Undertake reforms, such as public management reform, that may be necessary to launch and fuel sustainable capacity development processes.”

21. Donors commit to:

• Use country systems and procedures to the maximum extent possible. Where use of country systems is not feasible, establish additional safeguards and measures in ways that strengthen rather than undermine country systems and procedures (Indicator 5).
• Avoid, to the maximum extent possible, creating dedicated structures for day-to-day management and implementation of aid-financed projects and programmes (Indicator 6).
• Adopt harmonised performance assessment frameworks for country systems so as to avoid presenting partner countries with an excessive number of potentially conflicting targets.

Partner countries strengthen development capacity with support from donors

...23. Partner countries commit to:

• Integrate specific capacity strengthening objectives in national development strategies and pursue their implementation through country-led capacity development strategies where needed.

24. Donors commit to:

• Align their analytic and financial support with partners’ capacity development objectives and strategies, make effective use of existing capacities and harmonise support for capacity development accordingly (Indicator 4).”


“Strengthen public financial management capacity

...25. Partner countries commit to:

• Intensify efforts to mobilise domestic resources, strengthen fiscal sustainability, and create an enabling environment for public and private investments.

• Publish timely, transparent and reliable reporting on budget execution.

• Take leadership of the public financial management reform process.

26. Donors commit to:

• Provide reliable indicative commitments of aid over a multi-year framework and disburse aid in a timely and predictable fashion according to agreed schedules (Indicator 7).
• Rely to the maximum extent possible on transparent partner government budget and accounting mechanisms (Indicator 5).

27. Partners countries and donors jointly committed to:

• Implemented harmonized diagnostic reviews and performance assessment frameworks in public financial management.”


Strengthen national procurement systems

...28. Partner countries and donors jointly commit to:

• Use mutually agreed standards and processes to carry out diagnostics, develop sustainable reforms and monitor implementation.
• Commit sufficient resources to support and sustain medium- and long-term procurement reforms and capacity development.
• Share feedback at the country level on recommended approaches so they can be improved over time.

29. Partner countries commit to take leadership and implement the procurement reform process.

30. Donors commit to:

•  Progressively rely on partner country systems for procurement when the country has implemented mutually agreed standards and processes (Indicator 5).
•  Adopt harmonised approaches when national systems do not meet mutually agreed levels of performance or donors do not use them.”


“Untie aid: getting better value for money

...31. Untying aid generally increases aid effectiveness by reducing transaction costs for partner countries and improving country ownership and alignment. DAC Donors will continue to make progress on untying as encouraged by the 2001 DAC Recommendation on Untying Official Development Assistance to the Least Developed Countries (Indicator 8).

Donors’ actions are more harmonised, transparent and collectively effective

Donors implement common arrangements and simplify procedures

32. Donors commit to:

•  Implement the donor action plans that they have developed as part of the follow-up to the Rome High-Level Forum.
•  Implement, where feasible, common arrangements at country level for planning, funding (e.g. joint financial arrangements), disbursement, monitoring, evaluating and reporting to government on donor activities and aid flows. Increased use of programme-based aid modalities can contribute to this effort (Indicator 9).
•  Work together to reduce the number of separate, duplicative, missions to the field and diagnostic reviews (Indicator 10) and promote joint training to share lessons learned and build a community of practice.

Complementarity: more effective division of labour

...34. Partner countries commit to:

•  Provide clear views on donors’ comparative advantage and on how to achieve donor complementarity at country or sector level.

35. Donors commit to:

•  Make full use of their respective comparative advantage at sector or country level by delegating, where appropriate, authority to lead donors for the execution of programmes, activities and tasks.
•  Work together to harmonise separate procedures.

Incentives for collaborative behavior

36. Donors and partner countries jointly commit to:

•  Reform procedures and strengthen incentives—including for recruitment, appraisal and training—for management and staff to work towards harmonisation, alignment and results.”


“Delivering effective aid in fragile states

...38. Partner countries commit to:

•  Make progress towards building institutions and establishing governance structures that deliver effective governance, public safety, security, and equitable access to basic social services for their citizens.
•  Engage in dialogue with donors on developing simple planning tools, such as the transitional results matrix, where national development strategies are not yet in place.
•  Encourage broad participation of a range of national actors in setting development priorities.”