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Donors dealing with ‘aid effectiveness’ inconsistencies: national staff in foreign aid agencies in Tanzania
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
2019 (English)In: Journal of Eastern African Studies, ISSN 1753-1055, E-ISSN 1753-1063, Vol. 13, no 3, p. 445-464Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the name of ‘aid effectiveness,’ public foreign aid is meant to bean equal partnership between donors and recipients of aid, while atthe same time proving its efficiency to taxpayers in donor countries.Moreover, as state institutions, public aid agencies are required tofollow their own bureaucratic regulations, and increasingly so alsothose of their partner institutions, while simultaneously managingaid in the most cost-efficient way. This article turns the spotlighton a category of aid workers who help foreign aid agenciesmanoeuvre through these conflicting objectives: the desk officersemployed locally by donor agencies in aid-recipient countries. Thearticle centres on Tanzania, a country at the forefront of the aideffectiveness agenda, illustrating well the tensions it embodies.Tanzanian desk officers advance donor conditionality andcircumvent heavy bureaucratic regulation by tapping into theirresources as locals. Such resources involve their identity ascitizens with a right to hold the Tanzanian governmentaccountable for how it spends development money. They alsoinvolve desk officers’ personal networks in the Tanzaniandevelopment industry, which help agencies expedite aid interventions – a resource important enough to be assessed bysome foreign managers in the recruitment of national staff.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 13, no 3, p. 445-464
Keywords [en]
African bureaucracy; aid effectiveness; national aid workers; development partnership; Tanzania
National Category
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-391704DOI: 10.1080/17531055.2019.1628384OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-391704DiVA, id: diva2:1345591
Available from: 2019-08-26 Created: 2019-08-26 Last updated: 2019-10-02Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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