Positive and targeted democracy aid works best


International democracy assistance has a “small but positive effect” on democratic development in partner states, and there is no evidence that it has a negative impact on democracy, according to new research.

The relatively modest impact reflects the “likely limited reach of democracy aid in authoritarian states and developing democracies,” says a new EBA report Effects of Swedish and international democracy aid (above).

Other findings

  1. The effects on democracy are stronger for aid that specifically targets the core building blocks of democracy, such as civil society, free and fair elections, media freedom and human rights.
  2. Democracy aid is more effective when it comes to supporting democratization rather than at preventing democratic backsliding.
  3. The study shows that Swedish democracy aid to the core aspects of democracy, allocated directly to various countries, has declined in recent years.
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