Assessing the Value of Development Assistance According to the Recipients: A Case Study of Georgian Organisations’ Perspectives on Estonian Development Assistance

University essay from Lunds universitet/Graduate School

Abstract: Factors contributing to valuable development assistance are often perceived as a "black box," due to heterogeneity of development aid motives. This research brings out that too often, the value of aid is assessed from the perspectives of the donors rather than from its recipients. Therefore, this thesis takes a focus to study the recipient's perspectives for valuable development assistance. First, the study draws a theoretical framework based on the OECD-DAC criteria of relevance, effectiveness and sustainability and combines it with previous studies on valuable aid factors identified by the recipients of development assistance. To further understand and learn from the recipients' perspectives and voice their suggestions, a case study of Estonian aid towards its development cooperation priority country Georgia has been chosen. A three-week field study was undertaken and the perceptions of Georgian organisations that have received development assistance from Estonian partners were gathered. Through interviews with 17 individuals covering the managing staff of eight local organisations and 12 projects, this study concludes that Estonian development assistance is most appreciated due to its knowledge and consideration of the local context. However, interviews highlighted the need for further ownership and meaningful participation of the local organisations, providing long-term and strategic support on which the recipients can count, and increasing the organisational capacities for the recipients to sustain the project results further.

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