Aid effectiveness is the effectiveness of development aid in achieving economic or human development (or development targets).
Aid agencies are always looking for new ways to improve aid effectiveness, including conditionality, capacity building and support for improved governance.
The international aid system was born out of the ruins of the Second World War, when The United States used their aid funds to help rebuild Europe. After the end of the Cold War, the declared focus of official aid began to move further towards the alleviation of poverty and the promotion of development. The countries that were in the most need and poverty became more of a priority now.
Donor governments and aid agencies began to realise that their many different approaches and requirements were imposing huge costs on developing countries and making aid less effective. They began working with each other, and with developing countries, to harmonise their work in order to improve its impact.
The aid effectiveness movement picked up steam in 2002 at the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, which established the Monterrey Consensus. There, the international community agreed to increase its funding for development—but acknowledged that more money alone was not enough. Donors and developing countries alike wanted to know that aid would be used as effectively as possible. They wanted it to play its optimum role in helping poor countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals, the set of targets agreed by 192 countries in 2000 which aimed to halve world poverty by 2015. A new paradigm of aid as a partnership, rather than a one-way relationship between donor and recipient, was evolving.