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The Samaritan's DilemmaThe Political Economy of Development Aid$
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Clark C. Gibson, Krister Andersson, Elinor Ostrom, and Sujai Shivakumar

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199278855

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199278857.001.0001

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Incentives for Contractors in Aid-Supported Activities

Incentives for Contractors in Aid-Supported Activities

(p.160) 8 Incentives for Contractors in Aid-Supported Activities
The Samaritan's Dilemma

Clark C. Gibson

Oxford University Press

Using data on Sida’s activities in Zambia and India, it is shown that there are inherent contradictions between the incentives that consultants face in promoting ownership, and the incentives they face in retaining control of a project. Control over project decisions may produce positive short-term project results that please Sida, but contractors’ control may also compromise the prospects for sustainability. It is argued that donor agencies can improve aid sustainability by combining consultant expertise with the local knowledge of local beneficiaries — knowledge that donors frequently declare to be critical, but nevertheless, tend to neglect or underutilize. This calls for assigning a greater role to beneficiary organizations in the design, implementation, and evaluation of donor-financed field activities.

Keywords:   contractors, consultants, ownership, Sida, Zambia, India

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