The kind of aid that helps support dramatic decreases in aid dependence is what ActionAid calls real aid – that’s aid which empowers poor women and men to realise their rights, and reduces inequality.
It might do this directly, by supporting smallholder farmers, empowering women or building schools. Or it might do it indirectly, by supporting tax systems, better governance or economic development. It is accountable, transparent from beginning to end, and gets the most out of every dollar spent. It supports developing countries to make their own decisions. Substandard aid, however, does not do this – and there’s still a lot of it out there.