Principles of French development assistance


France has been committed to aid effectiveness since the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey (2002) and helped to define the principles for effectiveness during the High Level Forums on Aid Effectiveness held in Rome (2003), Paris (2005), Accra (2008) and Busan (2011), promoting in particular:

  • streamlining of the architecture of multilateral assistance;
  • recognition of the diversity of our partners’ situations, especially fragile ones;
  • improved measurement of aid results.

Transparency and accountability

In addition, France promotes greater transparency and accountability with regard to its development assistance. Such transparency is crucial not only for the understanding and legitimacy of development cooperation policies, but also for aid effectiveness. This means providing the public with regularly updated, detailed information on current projects and future aid expenditure by donors in each of their partner countries, as demonstrated by the website launched in late2013 on our development activities in Mali.


Not only development assistance policies, but all economic and social policies of donor countries have a significant impact on developing countries. Thus, however complex it be, the task of actively seeking to create synergies and reconciling conflicting goals is promoted with regard to both the content of policies, including those of partner countries, and the institutional means of implementing them. Since1998, it has been explicit that French policy coherence falls within the remit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is “consulted on government intervention and any decisions that may affect the development of the countries concerned”.


Accountability is the process by which France informs its citizens of the ways in which Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds are used and the outcomes of the activities implemented as a result.

France has extended and improved its accountability practices in recent years with the publication, in2012, of the first biennial report to Parliament on the implementation of the French strategy for development cooperation and the creation of a grid of 30results indicators.