- The donor will assume that if the money is not spent, the work is not done, and therefore contractual obligations are not being fulfilled.
- The donor will assume that if the money is not spent, it has over-allocated the budget and will cut the amount of funding available in future years.
The development project will attempt to reach the (usually impossible) target of 100% of the maximum available budget being disbursed by implementing one or more of the following actions:
- Buying additional office equipment or project vehicles that may or may not be useful for future years.
- Assigning a consultancy contract for a study that is interesting, if unessential.
- Less careful spending on existing activities.
- Better budgetary planning.
An alternative definition of "Mittelabflussproblem" proposed here is : The problem of focusing on on fund disbursal rather than on project impact.