Foreign Assistance: Lessons Learned From Donors' Experiences in the Pacific Region Page: 15 of 60
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priority on maintaining friendly relations with the FSM and the RMI. By
1993, however, the United States began placing greater emphasis on the
effectiveness and accountability of the assistance due, in part, to the end
of the Cold War. Finally, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials,
Japan generally selects development projects from the requests of Pacific
Island nations. The criteria for evaluating a specific request include, for
example, the extent to which the project will be seen as a Japanese
contribution but do not include an evaluation of the project need or
Donors Also Strive to In addition to recognizing that their development assistance may be
Balance Aid Effectiveness, intended to achieve multiple objectives, the donors have used a range of
Accountability, and Cost assistance strategies in striving to reach a desired balance of aid
effectiveness, accountability, and administrative cost. The donors have
used at least six different strategies to deliver their development
assistance to the Pacific Island nations. These strategies include
* technical assistance, such as the ADB's funding of the economic advisory
team in the FSM;
* project assistance, such as Japan's road improvement projects in the RMI;
* program assistance, such as the U.S. Department of Labor's job training
program in the FSM;
* budget support, such as New Zealand's support for government operations
* sectorwide programs, such as Australia's pilot program to support the
health sector in Papua New Guinea; and
* contributions to trust funds, such as Australia's, New Zealand's, and the
United Kingdom's contributions to the Tuvalu Trust Fund, which is
intended to provide self-sustaining revenue.
These strategies often provide different levels of donor control over their
assistance, according to officials with USAID, the New Zealand Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Australian Agency for International
Development. Technical assistance and project assistance, for example,
enable donors to exercise a high level of control and accountability by
participating directly in funded activities, while unrestricted budget
support and some forms of trust fund contributions allow donors little or
no control over their assistance because the donor is only providing cash
to the recipient. Reduced control over assistance is associated with more
uncertainty in achieving the aid objectives and ensuring accountability.
Yet, donors also acknowledge that the higher level of control involves
greater administrative costs. Thus, there are trade-offs between donor
control and costs, on one side, and expected effectiveness and
GAO-01-808 Pacific Development Assistance Strategies
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United States. General Accounting Office. Foreign Assistance: Lessons Learned From Donors' Experiences in the Pacific Region, report, August 17, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293232/m1/15/: accessed January 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.