multi-bi aid; earmarked voluntary contributions; international organizations; multilateral aid; trust funds; global funds
Reinsberg Bernhard (2016), The rise of multi-bi aid
, Dissertation, Universität Zürich.
Reinsberg Bernhard, Michaelowa Katharina, Eichenauer Vera (2015), The rise of multi-bi aid and the proliferation of trust funds, in Arvin Mak, Lew Byron (ed.), Edward Elgar, Northhampton, 527-554.
Reinsberg Bernhard, Michaelowa Katharina, Knack Stephen (2015), Which donors, which funds? The choice of multilateral funds by bilateral donors at the World Bank, in World Bank Policy Research Working Paper
, (7441), 1-36.
Reinsberg Bernhard, Eichenauer Vera (2014), Multi-bi aid : tracking the evolution of earmarked funding to international development organizations from 1990 to 2012 (codebook)
, CIS Working Paper No. 84, ETH Zürich.
Reinsberg Bernhard, The implications of multi-bi financing on multilateral agencies: The example of the World Bank, in Klingebiel Stephan, Negre Mario, Mahn Timo (ed.), Palgrave McMillan, London, --.
Over the last decade, Official Development Assistance has witnessed massive growth in multi-bi aid, earmarked voluntary donor contributions to international development organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations. While this trend has gone almost unnoticed by the academic research community, international development practitioners have been vividly debating the growing importance of this new type of aid. Proponents expect donors to unleash additional financial resources for specific development purposes, since multi-bi aid enables donors to combine the effectiveness of multilateral aid with the visibility of bilateral aid. Skeptics argue that multi-bi aid dilutes the focus of multilateral organizations and increases their transaction costs, which eventually threatens to undermine development effectiveness.Building on initial work in the interdisciplinary research project The proliferation of multilateral funds: Explaining the shift towards multi-bi aid and related institutions, funded by the Swiss Network for International Studies, my dissertation project seeks to investigate three distinct puzzles related to the rise of multi-bi aid. First, I revisit the tremendous growth of multi-bi aid over the last two decades using statistical methods. The econometric analysis will be based on a dataset on multi-bi aid activities that we have built up during the first year of the interdisciplinary project. My analysis will shed light on yet unexplored questions such as why multi-bi aid has grown most significantly since the millennium, why some donors use multi-bi aid to a larger extent than others, and why some donors more tightly earmark their contributions than others. Second, I will address why international organizations have embraced multi-bi financing in spite of opposing this type of funding in their official announcements. To resolve this puzzle, I assume that these organizations are collective actors with heterogeneous interests, and I will develop a formal model to keep track of these various incentives. The model will be tested using data from a survey experiment and qualitative interviews with World Bank staff. After calibrating the structural parameters of the model, model predictions can also be tested on a larger population of organizations, using information from our own original dataset. Third, I will address the puzzle that a significant number of trust funds, once being created, do not receive contributions or do not disburse their funds to recipients. This phenomenon of dormant funds has been a nuisance for international development agency staff by increasing transaction costs. It may even eventually undermine aid effectiveness by keeping staff busy with administrative tasks. Using panel data on all trust funds at the World Bank, I will proceed with econometric analysis, enriched by qualitative evidence from interviews with staff.My own dissertation will contribute to the emerging research on multi-bi aid. The findings will speak to various branches of literature, including principal-agent theory, aid allocation literature, and theories of international organization. In addition, I hope that my findings will inform policy advice for international aid practitioners regarding how to best harness the potential of multi-bi aid for global development.