The purpose of this article is to analyse reforms to the international development aid policy based on the concepts of New Public Management. Three principles are particularly discussed: the segmentation of development policy implementation, the growing concern for accountability, and the establishment of performance-based management systems. The analysis of developments in official development assistance clearly shows that New Public Management principles are being applied to aid policies. Yet the distinctive characteristics of aid – difficulty to define performance, extreme heterogeneity of results, systematic collective responsibility, disconnection between those who pay for policies and those who benefit from them, absence of global regulation – make it an inappropriate example of the application of these management principles. As a result, a number of implementation difficulties appear as challenges for the future of aid policies.
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