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The Progressivity and Regressivity of Aid to the Social Sectors

Bob Baulch and Le Van An Tam (RMIT Vietnam) were commissioned to prepare a working paper on the ‘The Progressivity and Regressivity of Aid to the Social Sectors’.

This paper was prepared for the United Nations’ World Institute for Development Economics Research, as part of a broader research programme on Research and Communication on Foreign Aid.  Their research analysed the distribution of total aid and aid to the social sectors for bilateral and multilateral donors between 2009 and 2011 for 106 developing countries.  Key findings were that total aid disbursements are broadly neutral, favouring neither the most deprived nor relatively well-off countries, and that the pattern of social sector aid disbursements follows those for total aid.  The aid allocation patterns of bilateral and multilateral donors were also found to differ, with multilaterals donors generally being more focused on the poorest countries. Finally, the distribution of aid for health and population was more progressive than that for education or other social sectors.  The paper is expected to appear in a special issue of the Journal of International Development.

Bob Baulch has also been providing technical inputs to the Asian Development Bank resident mission in Hanoi on poverty analysis and inclusiveness for their 2016-2020 Country Partnership Strategy.