The rhetoric of value for money and improved efficiency of aid spending is increasing. With finite resources and considerable need, the trade-offs must be explored and measured. This opinion article suggests that the establishment of a national institute for aid effectiveness, modelled on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, could address this.

The authors discuss the need for, and the potential benefits of and obstacles to the establishment of a national institute for aid effectiveness. They argue that unmet health needs of the population which arise when finite resources are diverted elsewhere should be a key consideration that informs development tools, such as strategic purchasing and pricing negotiations for healthcare products, to innovative financing tolls for programmatic interventions.

A national institute for aid effectiveness would help donor countries and those countries who are increasingly becoming independent from aid.

  • For donor countries, it would improve their development spending decisions made by their country’s aid agencies and the various multilaterals through which their aid money is channelled.
  • For low and middle income countries who are becoming increasingly independent from aid, it should help them to build their own capacity in making sure their own resources go further to achieve health outcomes and more equitable distribution.