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Concerns over aid effectiveness have led to calls for greater accountability in international development aid. This article examines the state of accountability within and between international development agencies: aid NGOs, the international financial institutions, and government aid ministries. The investigation finds that there is very little accountability in these agencies, and that the accountability that there is often works against poverty relief. Increasing accountability, however, is not always the solution: increased accountability may just amplify the complexities of development efforts. Only those reforms with real promise to make aid more effective in reducing poverty should be encouraged. One such proposal is set out here.