The Aid Effectiveness Agenda: Bringing Discipline to Diversity in Global Health?

Rebecca Dodd and Peter S. Hill

Health aid is increasingly characterised by diversity, complexity and innovation – new institutions, new ways of raising money and new approaches to delivering assistance. Although bringing “order” to this “chaos” has been a recurrent theme in international health, expectations are often unrealistic. This article charts the practical and conceptual evolution of approaches to aid effectiveness in the health sector, from their intra-sectoral origins to current efforts which seek to bridge global and country policy agendas and engage new actors. While these efforts represent an important step forward, the paper concludes that in the new globalized environment, accountability cannot be located in a single institution or mechanism. Global health will need to learn to accommodate less definitive, less linear and more diverse forms of governance.