The real effectiveness of international aid to the developing countries is among the most controversial and debated issues in the field of development economics, rivalling with problems of government corruption in some recipient countries and the lack of coordination among donor states and institutions. Macroeconomic analysis has proved to have limited power in measuring effectiveness and current evaluation methods are regarded as unreliable. For this reason, the scientific community, with the support of some development agencies and NGOs, has recently focused on developing analogous procedures to those used in medicine and experimental sciences, with the ability to scientifically assess the impact of development policies and projects.
The objectives pursued are basically two: to give credibility to the conclusions reached, and to help communicate successes to the public. These methods will become the standard for the evaluation of future projects and programs, thereby helping preserve today’s renewed enthusiasm for development assistance.