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Willamette University

Publication Date

Spring 2020

Program Name

Uganda: Global Development Studies


This paper examines the phenomenon of aid fragmentation and donor proliferation in Uganda. As the development cooperation landscape has become increasingly complex in recent years, there is significant interest in examining how this complexity, also called fragmentation, affects development outcomes in recipient countries. Specifically, this paper sets out to understand the driving forces behind aid fragmentation in Uganda, the recent trends in fragmentation and coordination, and potential pathways forward to address the problem.

Research for this paper came from a series of interviews with economic experts in Uganda, an exploratory study of quantitative indicators of fragmentation over the last decade, and an extensive review of secondary literature on the subject, both in Uganda and worldwide.

This paper finds clear evidence for increasing fragmentation of aid in Uganda over the last decade, despite donor commitments for increased coordination. Additionally, aid fragmentation translates to sub-optimal development outcomes, both directly through increased transaction costs and indirectly through undermined governmental quality. There are a broad range of potential approaches to donor coordination; the primary aspect is the necessity for donor countries to embrace recipient leadership in the design of aid programs.


African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Development Studies | Growth and Development | International Relations | Organization Development


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