"The two case studies in this report, Ghana and Mozambique, are poor countries with low human development indicators, who have experienced substantial political turmoil since their independence. Ghana witnessed a number of military coups, while Mozambique was engaged in a protracted civil war. Both countries implemented structural adjustment programmes in the 1980s. While the criticism of the effectiveness of structural adjustment programmes in Africa is relevant, it is also true that in both cases they provided the impetus for recovery from systemic economic crisis. Both countries are perceived by the international community as case studies of the more constructive manner in which aid can be used to begin to make a difference in poor countries emerging out of political instability and economic crisis. Of course, the question can be posed about the overall cost-benefit analysis of the amount of aid spent and the benefit derived. Those exercises are important in the application of lessons learnt to future initiatives both in these countries and others. The case studies that follow aim to make a contribution to this debate."