Is the Programme for Results approach fit for purpose? Evidence from a large-scale education reform in Ethiopia
Across many low- and lower- middle income countries, aid donors are promoting results-based financing approaches as a means to link their funding directly with development outcomes. In this paper, we explore one such approach, the Programme for Results (PforR) financing approach in support for Ethiopia’s large-scale education quality reform. We assess whether the PforR approach is fit for purpose, drawing on interviews with 72 key donor and government stakeholders. Our findings suggest that the ability of the approach to achieve its stated goals of building capacity and strengthening the system for equitable learning is limited in this context. While the approach is helping to reorient attention from inputs to results, questions remain as to whether the focus is on the right results. Our findings further highlight the need for the careful design of such approaches that take account of the context including with respect to ensuring that necessary pre-conditions are in place prior to implementation.