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Response to the Auditor General

On November 3, 2009, the 2009 Fall Report of the Auditor General of Canada was presented to Parliament. Chapter 8 of this report assessed how CIDA had implemented its 2002 Policy Statement on Strengthening Aid Effectiveness, and provided a series of recommendations related to aid effectiveness. The Auditor General’s full report, which includes CIDA’s response, can be found at:

Summary: Chapter 8—Strengthening Aid Effectiveness—Canadian International Development Agency

The audit covered the period 2002–2009. It examined the planning and support of country programs, project selection and monitoring, and corporate management processes and oversight. Auditors gathered information at CIDA headquarters and in five countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, and Vietnam.

The audit found that CIDA had not put in place all the required management processes to implement and monitor its aid-effectiveness commitments. As well, the Agency’s country-planning frameworks were found to have been not managed effectively. Although the audit found CIDA’s project selection rationales to be consistent with the principles of aid effectiveness and its project-planning processes addressed potential risks, it was noted that these processes would benefit from a consideration of CIDA’s strengths relative to those of other donors. Finally, the Auditor General noted that the frequent changes in policy direction and substantial turnover of senior managers in recent years posed significant challenges to CIDA in achieving its aid-effectiveness agenda, as the long-term nature of international development requires stability and predictability of programming.

Despite these drawbacks, the Auditor General did note that CIDA has performed very strongly in several areas critical to poverty reduction, and that the Agency had made considerable progress in donor harmonization, local ownership, and solid risk-management practices. Finally, the Auditor General made it clear that CIDA is well regarded out in the field, and that its partners appreciate the Agency’s efforts.