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Bringing Aid Management Closer to Reality: The Experience of Danish Bilateral Development Cooperation

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Abstract

In 2003, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs undertook a decentralisation of the management of bilateral aid to the embassies in major partner countries. However, while decentralisation appears to live up to the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the specific delegation of responsibilities as well as the political context of aid management may jeopardise the intended contribution to effective development co-operation. This article explores some factors potentially limiting the usefulness of decentralised aid management in the Danish case, and discusses certain intra-organisational dynamics and extra-organisational pressures influencing ‘donor effectiveness’.

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