Book Chapter
Reconstructing the Aid Effectiveness Debate

This chapter criticizes the current International Development Association (IDA) aid allocation and debt sustainability framework on the grounds of their over-reliance on the country policy and institutional assessment (CPIA) as the guiding criterion. It argues that CPIA-centred allocation of aid fails to introduce an incentives structure supportive of a genuine donor-recipient partnership, conducive to development. Further, it claims that the CPIA-dependent debt thresholds—central to the new debt sustainability framework—effectively submit sustainability concerns to the policy performance prerogatives of the aid allocation system. Resting on a thin empirical basis, such approach fails to take due account of low-income countries' vulnerability to exogenous shocks, as a key determinant of debt distress. As an alternative to the current CPIA-based scheme, the paper outlines the key features of a state-contingent mechanism, guiding both aid allocation and debt sustainability analysis.