Cooperation in Agricultural Assistance:

An Elusive Goal in Indonesia

ID-80-29: Published: Jun 11, 1980. Publicly Released: Jun 11, 1980.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

The United States channels its foreign aid to developing countries through a variety of assistance organizations. To some extent, a concerted integrated development effort focused on the priority needs of developing third world countries has not been achieved. GAO performed a case study assessing the nature and extent of foreign donor and recipient cooperation in the agricultural development of Indonesia. Much of the U.S. assistance to Indonesia for the past 10 years has been aimed at developing the country's long-term food production potential and reducing its dependence on imported rice. Setting specific priorities has been difficult because the country's problems are complex, facts are often uncertain, and appropriate strategies are not always apparent.

GAO found that none of the necessary coordination arrangements has operated effectively. Foreign donors recognize the Indonesian Government's responsibility for formulating its own development plans. However, the government planning agency has not fulfilled its responsibilities for assistance coordination on a sector basis. Opportunities for donor/host-government discussion and analysis of agricultural aid programs have been limited. U.S. officials have advocated a stronger leadership role for the World Bank, but the Bank has not assumed this role because of opposition from some bilateral donors. Weak coordination has resulted in the lack of a focused and concerted donor effort; independent donor efforts seldom interrelate or reinforce each other.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Treasury, working with the Director of the International Development Cooperation Agency, should direct the U.S. Executive Director to the World Bank to pursue with Bank officials the need for the Bank, in concert with other donors, to: (1) seek a more active role in coordinating donor assistance programs and in encouraging the Government of Indonesia to promote effective coordination including periodic sector-level, problem-oriented discussions among donors; (2) promote Indonesian efforts to achieve closer interagency and provincial cooperation oriented toward more precisely defined development priorities and toward focusing assistance on these priority needs; and (3) assess ways to improve Indonesia's absorptive capacity, and base increases in future Bank program levels on substantive steps to reduce absorptive problems.

    Agency Affected:

  2. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Treasury should direct the U.S. Directors to both the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to promote early information sharing on proposed bank activities so that U.S. officials will have the necessary time to evaluate the relationship between bank programs and U.S. bilateral programs.

    Agency Affected:

  3. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State and the Director of the Internation Development Cooperation Agency should reemphasize to other bilateral donors the need for both increased information sharing and their participation in effective coordination.

    Agency Affected:

  4. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Director of the International Development Cooperation Agency should see that multilateral development bank loans undergo cross-program review within the Development Coordination Committee to promote mutual reinforcement among the various assistance efforts within specific countries.

    Agency Affected:

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 22, 2016

Sep 20, 2016

Sep 7, 2016

Aug 31, 2016

Aug 25, 2016

Aug 15, 2016

Jul 14, 2016

Jul 6, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here