by Simone Dietrich
Princeton University, July 2011
The conventional wisdom in the literature on aid allocation suggests that donors utilize bilateral aid as a tool to buy influence in the aid-receiving country. Those who conclude that aid is driven by donor self-interest focus on government-to-government aid transfers. However, this approach overlooks important variation in delivery tactics: bilateral donors frequently provide aid to non-state actors. This paper argues that donors resort to delivery tactics that increase the likelihood of aid achieving its intended outcome.