An Analysis of the Aid Effectiveness Agenda in Tonga
Over the past decade, the rhetoric of international aid has significantly changed. Increased emphasis has been placed on the full participation of aid recipient countries, which are now being urged to own and drive their development planning and policy. The 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness sits at the core of this international consensus that calls for alignment of donor policies and harmonisation of donor procedures. This study was undertaken to investigate the influence of the aid effectiveness agenda on Tongan development policy and practice. Using both primary and secondary sources, an analysis of the Paris Declaration Principles and their application in practice was explored. A case study of the Tonga Energy Road Map was carried out in order to illustrate a more detailed unfolding of the aid effectiveness agenda at a sector and project level. The key findings of this research suggest that there has been substantial improvement to development policy and practice in Tonga. It is unclear, however, if this improvement was the outcome of commitments made to the Paris Declaration or the result of strong relationships and leadership exerted by the Government of Tonga. However, in spite of the commitment to increase aid effectiveness made by some development agencies, many still operate with their own systems and procedures which Tonga is required to meet. Although Tonga has readily adopted the Paris Declaration Principles, the aid effectiveness challenge remains at the project implementation level.