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Lessons from the exit from general budget support in Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia

This report analyses the exits that occurred between 2012 and 2014 in four case study countries in response to breaches budget support conditionality. In Malawi, a massive theft of public funds, known as the Cashgate scandal, led to the exit of all donors. Donors suspended their GBS in Rwanda after a United Nations (UN) report exposed Rwanda’s support of a Tutsi rebel movement in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In Uganda, a corruption scandal in the Office of the Prime Minister triggered the exit of all donors.

In Zambia, the exit was a gradual process that occurred in response to declining performance in the PAF indicators and corruption scandals.

All these cases had in common that a breach of the underlying principles of budget support served as a justification for the exit. Under these circumstances, a trustful cooperation with the common understanding that a breach of the underlying principles of budget support served as a justification for the exit. Under these circumstances, a trustful cooperation with the partner governments was no longer possible. Political factors and declining appetite for budget support might have spurred a fast exit.

The analysis shows that the exit from GBS led to negative developments in most policies and structures that had benefited from the introduction of GBS. The consequences of the exit from GBS are most pronounced for a decrease in harmonization, higher fragmentation of the aid portfolio and weakened policy dialogue.

The future of integrated policy-based development cooperation. Lessons from the exit from general budget support in Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia.

DEVAL/German Institute for Development Evaluation, 2018.