What is the track record of Multi Donor Trust Funds in improving aid effectiveness?

Sultan Barakat, Kathryn Marie Rzeszut, Nick Martin

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


It is a generally-accepted belief that Multi-Donor Trust Funds (MDTFs) are a key component in increased aid effectiveness and over recent years they have become standard aid financing modalities in a variety of contexts, particularly in fragile, post-conflict environments. This systematic review, conducted on behalf of DFID, examines the impact that multi-donor trust funds (MDTFs) have had on aid effectiveness through a meta-evaluation of data found in the academic
and professional literature. The review methodology consisted of a study search which focused on electronic searches of bibliographic databases and hand searches of specific journals and the websites of relevant organizations, using a combined search process of terms related to three key concepts: trust funds, aid effectiveness, and aid impact. Users from fund administrating agencies and independent organizations were also identified during this period and were able to provide additional documents and invaluable background information. The study search results demonstrated a lack of scientifically rigorous studies in this particular subject area and most of the documents were from what is considered ‘grey literature’: fund administrator reports and independent evaluations conducted on behalf of fund administrators. After applying four rounds of inclusion/exclusion criteria based primarily on the rigour of the study methodology and the level of analysis of the search results, 24 documents remained. Each of the reports in the final set of included documents examined individual funds, thereby lending themselves to comparative synthesis. The information contained in the reports included in the final data set was analysed and synthesised using a framework incorporating the Paris Declaration aid effectiveness tenets: ownership, alignment, harmonisation, managing for results, and mutual accountability. This report discusses the results of that synthesis and provides recommendations for future policy strategiesfor MDTF implementation, operation, and evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDepartment for International Development
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

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