The Samaritan's Dilemma: The Political Economy of Development Aid

By Clark C. Gibson | Go to book overview

10 Sida Aid in Electricity and Natural Resource Projects in Zambia

10.1 INTRODUCTION

We now turn to case studies of three Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency)-supported field projects in Zambia, a relatively aid-dependent country. Using the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework, we identify the incentive structures for several actors in the action arenas of the three projects to examine how they affect the likelihood of ownership and sustainable project outcomes.

We begin with an overview of Sweden's bilateral development cooperation with Zambia. Zambia's relative dependency on aid, not only from Sweden but also from other countries, has a profound impact on incentive structures conducive to beneficiary ownership and thus also to sustainable outcomes. This is especially true for the government-to-government model of development cooperation, which channels most of Sweden's support to Zambia.

Following this overview, we look in more detail at three selected field projects: (1) The Zambian Energy Regulation Board (ERB); (2) The Kafue Gorge Hydropower Station Rehabilitation Project (KGRP); and (3) The Zambian National Farmers' Union and their Conservation Farming Unit (CFU). Each project's analysis follows the same sequence of a structured institutional analysis: We start by identifying the action arenas, its actors, positions, and the type of situations in which they interact. Because of their influence on each actor's incentive structures, we spend a great deal of time discussing the particular contextual variables that define the characteristics of the action arena. The incentive structures materialize in the “patterns of interaction” and are described explicitly at the end of each section. We end the chapter with a discussion of the implications of our findings regarding incentives found in these cases.


10.2 ZAMBIA'S EXPERIENCE WITH DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION

Zambia's overall economy has generally gone the way of its mineral exports, especially copper. Before the dramatic plunge of the world price for copper in 1974, Zambia's economy boasted one of the highest growth rates and per capita incomes in Africa. The economy and the Zambian government's ambitious development plans, however,

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