An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Indicators

The Case of the Aid Effectiveness Regime

In: International Organizations Law Review

This article identifies the actors and dynamics involved in the process of ‘indicatorization’ in the aid effectiveness regime, from the initial decision to use indicators to the impact the indicators’ monitoring produces. It contributes to the existing and growing literature on indicators, and gives a specific example of the use of indicators in global governance. Because of its iterative perspective, the aid effectiveness regime enables an analysis of the trial and error process in the making of indicators and of the interplay of different actors, mainly States and international organizations, over time. This case study shows how actors can ‘play’ with indicators that are supposed to define their actions, and ultimately the tension that might exist between the indicator’s logic (the uniformity of the numerical measurement) and the regime principles, based on the ownership paradigm.

  • 5

    C. Burnside and D. Dollar, ‘Aid, Policies and Growth’, World Bank Development Research Group Policy Research Working Paper No. 1777 (World Bank, 1997); D. Dollar and L. Pritchett, Assessing Aid: What Works, What Doesn’t (World Bank, Washington, 1998).

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  • 8

    Dann, supra note 2, p. 139.

  • 21

    Since 2014, the co-chairs have been: Goodall Edward Gondwe, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning & Development, Malawi (July 2014); José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mexico and Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Netherlands (April 2014).

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    F. C. Iklé, ‘After Detection, What?’ Foreign Affairs, January 1961, pp. 1–13; G. W. Downs, D. M. Rocke and P. N. Barsoom, ‘Is the Good News about Compliance Good News about Cooperation?’ (1996) 50(3) International Organization pp. 379–406.

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  • 37

    Rosga and Satterthwaite, supra note 31, p. 258.

  • 91

    Busan Partnership, 1 December 2011, § 36(d) : Invite the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the United Nations Development Programme to support the effective functioning of the Global Partnership, building on their collaboration to date and their respective mandates and areas of comparative advantage.

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