Financing Poverty Alleviation vs. Promoting Democracy? Multi-Donor Budget Support in Zambia

Democratization, Volume 19, Issue 3, 2012, Special Issue: DO ALL GOOD THINGS GO TOGETHER? CONFLICTING OBJECTIVES IN DEMOCRACY PROMOTION

Posted: 5 Dec 2013

See all articles by Stefan Leiderer

Stefan Leiderer

German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval); German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

Jörg Faust

German Development Institute (DIE)

Johannes Schmitt

German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval); University of Duisburg-Essen

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Many approaches to supporting democracy in developing countries have been affected by recent international reforms geared towards improving aid effectiveness through better harmonizing interventions and greater alignment to recipient countries' strategies. The paradigmatic instrument for these attempts has been direct budget support, whereby donors attempt not only to promote poverty reduction but also to achieve the institutional modernization conducive to public sector reforms and democratic accountability. However, based on empirical evidence from a recent evaluation of budget support in Zambia, this article argues that attempts at harmonization among donors can be easily hampered by varying interpretations of the goal hierarchy of budget support. In the course of the Multi-Donor Budget Support process in Zambia, some donors have prioritized the financing function of the instrument, while others have emphasized its potential influence on institutional reforms. While some harmonization efforts proved successful at fostering a number of public-sector reforms, the remaining harmonization deficiencies hampered the realization of the instrument's full potential to craft a coherent incentive system for facilitating improvements in democratic accountability.

Keywords: democracy promotion, political conditionality, budget support, aid effectiveness, Zambia

Suggested Citation

Leiderer, Stefan and Faust, Jörg and Schmitt, Johannes, Financing Poverty Alleviation vs. Promoting Democracy? Multi-Donor Budget Support in Zambia (2012). Democratization, Volume 19, Issue 3, 2012, Special Issue: DO ALL GOOD THINGS GO TOGETHER? CONFLICTING OBJECTIVES IN DEMOCRACY PROMOTION, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2363452

Stefan Leiderer

German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval) ( email )

Fritz-Schäffer-Straße 26
Bonn, 53113
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.deval.org

German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) ( email )

Tulpenfeld 4
Bonn, 53113
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.die-gdi.de

Jörg Faust (Contact Author)

German Development Institute (DIE) ( email )

Tulpenfeld 6
Bonn, 53113
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.die-gdi.de

Johannes Schmitt

German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval) ( email )

Fritz-Schäffer-Straße 26
Bonn, 53111
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.deval.org

University of Duisburg-Essen ( email )

Lotharstrasse 1
Duisburg, 47048
Germany

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