Third World Quarterly
Forty billion dollars of ODA over the past two decades has reduced destitution in post-socialist and post-conflict Ethiopia. It has also boosted the technocratic capacity of exclusionary state institutions, while doubly enfeebling the fledgling private sector and independent political and civic organisations. This aid-institution paradox is a product of an alignment of donor-recipient strategic interests. The five major donors pursued geopolitical and poverty reduction objectives; and the narrowly based ruling elite sought total capture of the state, ownership of the development agenda and use of pro-poor growth to leverage large aid inflows and to seek domestic political legitimacy. By coupling poverty reduction with adequate space for inclusive market, civic and political engagement, a farsighted coalition of donors could have complemented capacity building with the promotion of state resilience. Scaled-up aid can still be delivered, as in Eastern Europe, conditional on meaningful mutual accountability and the rule of law.
Abegaz, B. (2015). Aid, accountability and institution building in Ethiopia: the self-limiting nature of technocratic aid. Third World Quarterly, 36(7), 1382-1403.