Why do donors delegate to multilateral organisations? A synthesis of six country case studies

This report is based on case studies from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Norway and the United States

Abstract

All donors make decisions about how much to delegate to multilateral organisations and how to allocate funding between these institutions. They also make decisions about how much should be defined as core funding – which multilaterals can spend as they see fit – and non-core funding, over which donors retain a degree of control. The choices that donors make vary widely.

This report aims to understand the drivers of these delegation decisions ‘in practice’, based on 6 country case studies: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Norway and the United States.

The report found that:

  1. Supporting global public goods is a key rationale for delegation
  2. Strategic and foreign policy concerns heavily influence delegation decisions
  3. Donors appear to delegate to multilaterals who share their priorities rather than to those whose priorities complement their own
  4. Delegation decisions are heavily influenced by earlier decisions, leaving limited room for manoeuvre, at least in the short term
  5. Donor influence on multilaterals appears to be important for some donors in delegating to some multilaterals, but there is no clear pattern overall
  6. The perceived advantages and disadvantages of multilaterals are much less significant than these other drivers, although this may be changing
  7. Public and parliamentary opinion is rarely important in the delegation choice

This report was funded from the Department for International Development’s Policy Research Fund

Citation

Greenhill, R.; Rabinowitz, G. Why do donors delegate to multilateral organisations? A synthesis of six country case studies. Overseas Development Institute, London (2016) 61p

Why do donors delegate to multilateral organisations? A synthesis of six country case studies

Help us improve GOV.UK

Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.