Despite a large body of literature on foreign aid effectiveness and significant international policy debate on the same topic, there is little consensus about how best to measure and compare the policy influence of international development organizations. In 2014, a group of researchers from AidData at the College of William & Mary conducted a first of its kind survey, involving more than 6,500 development policymakers and practitioners across 126 low-income and middle-income countries. The 2014 Reform Efforts Survey asked in-country policymakers and practitioners to draw upon their firsthand experiences and observations to evaluate the influence of international development organizations across23 different policy domains. This survey provides rich, micro-level data for researchers who wish to study nearly 100 international development organizations from a partner-country perspective. In this joint study, AidData and DEval make use of this rich source of data to test a number of hypotheses about the comparative strengths and weaknesses of Germany’s development cooperation, and to identify the factors that enable and constrain German development agencies in their efforts to influence the reform processes of partner countries.
Funding: This study was performed in partnership with DEval, which is mandated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to independently analyze and assess German development interventions.