The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 843–865 | Cite as

Aid Effectiveness and Multilevel Governance: The Case of a Value Chain Development Project in Rural Ethiopia

  • Mario Biggeri
  • Federico Ciani
  • Andrea FerranniniEmail author
Original Article


Modern societies are increasingly characterised by complex multilevel governance mechanisms. Nonetheless, evaluations of how development initiatives are implemented with respect to the international aid effectiveness agenda have embraced this multilevel complexity only to a limited extent. The purpose of this paper is twofold. Firstly, to place the discussion on aid effectiveness within a multilevel governance perspective, going beyond country assessments. Secondly, to evaluate the Paris principles in terms of dynamic processes rather than simply outcomes, thus entailing the need for systemic evaluations, also through participatory methods. The Ethio-Italian cooperation project “Agricultural Value Chains in Oromia” is analysed as a case study, assessing its coherence with the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness by involving stakeholders at different levels. Overall, the project’s focus on transformative quality-oriented value chain processes is proved to substantially shape dynamic multi-stakeholder interactions in enhancing Paris principles at local, national and international levels.

Les sociétés modernes sont caractérisés par des mécanismes de gouvernance complexes et a plusieurs niveaux. Néanmoins, cette complexité n’a été étudié que partiellement dans les évaluations de comment les initiatives de développement sont implémentes au sein de l’agenda international de l’efficacité de l’aide. Cette étude a deux buts : d’abord, de placer la discussion sur l’efficacité de l’aide au sein de la perspective de gouvernance multiniveaux, au-delà des évaluations de pays individuels. Ensuite, on évalue les principes de Paris comme des principes dynamiques, et pas seulement comme des résultats, à travers des méthodes participatives et des évaluations systématiques. Le projet « Chaines de valeur agricultural en Oromia » , une coopération Italo-Ethiopienne, est utilisé comme étude de cas. On évalue sa cohérence avec la Déclaration de Paris sur l’efficacité de l’aide impliquant des parties prenantes à différents niveaux. On révèle comment l’objectif du projet, c’est-à-dire le procès transformationnel dans la chaine de valeur cible sur la qualité, façonne de forme dynamique les interactions multilatérales en améliorant les principes de Paris a niveau locale, nationale et internationale.


aid effectiveness Paris principles multilevel governance value chain development cooperatives participatory methods Ethiopia 



We would like to express our gratitude to all farmers, leaders of cooperatives and unions and representatives of local governments in the three Weredas we visited, as well as the several key informants, for their contribution to this research. We are most grateful to Genene Gezu of AVCPO, Tesfaye Letta Dugo, Mulusew Fikere, Falmata Gezachew Nasisaa and Tadele Tadesse of SARC, and Tiberio Chiari and Lorenzo Orioli of IAO for their crucial support in organising the research and facilitating the meetings and the focus group discussions. Finally, we would like to thank the anonymous referee(s) for providing us with helpful feedbacks on this paper.


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Biggeri
    • 1
  • Federico Ciani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrea Ferrannini
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Economics and ManagementUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.ARCO Lab (Action Research for CO-development)PIN S.c.r.l. – Polo Universitario Città di PratoPratoItaly

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