In the GEG blog series on the (dead) aid debate, Lindsay Whitfield has argued that the central concern should not be whether to give more or less aid, but about the objectives of aid and how it is given. In this final contribution to the series, Whitfield proposes a new vision for foreign aid and a set of concrete reforms to achieve it.
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March 4, 2010 / aid
March 1, 2010 / aid
In an earlier contribution to this GEG blog series The (Dead) Aid Debate, Lindsay Whitfield looked at macro-level relationships and effects of aid dependency in African countries. But, she writes, the problems with aid also have to do with micro-level relationship and the everyday practices of aid agencies and how aid is given. Concrete examples of ‘aid in action’ can tell volumes about why aid has such a limited impact on economic development and poverty reduction.
Comments OffFebruary 26, 2010 / aid
One of the real issues neglected in much (if not all) of the debate on aid and Africa is the way in which aid relationships have developed over decades of dependence and their unintended political consequences. Another issue is how the international aid system has expanded and entrenched itself in many African countries. As part of GEG’s (Dead) Aid Debate blog series, Lindsay Whitfield reframes the aid debate around the real issue: politics.
February 19, 2010 / aid
Earlier in the GEG blog series The (Dead) Aid Debate, I reviewed the contributions of Dambisa Moyo, Bill Easterly and Yash Tandon. While all raise important issues, they do not raise what I consider to be the real issues. They do not put on the table the most pressing and important issues regarding economic development, aid and Africa: the economics, the politics and the aid system. The aid debate needs to be reframed around these three central pillars. I will address each in coming days, beginning here with the economics.
Comments OffFebruary 17, 2010 / aid
In this final review of aid critics for GEG’s blog series The (Dead) Aid Debate, Lindsay Whitfield examines the contributions of Ugandan international political economist Yash Tandon in Ending Aid Dependence (2008). Yash Tandon gets us on the right track, writes Whitfield, by arguing that the conceptual starting point is not aid but development. However, he also brings us back to two polarized debates that have been ongoing since the 1980s which trap us in a cul-de-sac mindset.
Comments OffFebruary 12, 2010 / aid
Dambisa Moyo’s book ‘Dead Aid’ injected new blood into the aid debate, putting the critical voice out front and declaring that it is time to stop pitying Africa. Unfortunately, that is where her contribution ends. The fact that her arguments against aid are not very convincing, may even be a liability for the critics.
February 10, 2010 / aid
Easterly is right that the aid system is stiflingly bureaucratic and over-planned, and thus rigid and inflexible in the way aid is allocated and used. He is right that the amount of planning required by donors of African governments in order to receive aid, whether for individual project proposals or for general budget support, is immense and many of the requirements are unnecessary. Easterly is applauded for making this point so boldly. However, his boldness might have backfired. His method and tactics were so polemical and critical that he offended those who he was preaching to, and so they stopped listening…
Lindsay Whitfield continues the GEG blog series on the (dead) aid debate, critically reviewing the contributions of William Easterly.
February 8, 2010 / aid
Everyone knows that aid is not working. That aid has negative side effects (unintended consequences) is widely accepted, but whether these are less, equal or greater than the positive effects of aid is hard to determine. The big question is how to change the status quo: change how aid is given, change how aid agencies work, change the international aid structures and processes, change the (ever growing) aid industry.
The G20 leaders have met three times, giving the IMF $1 trillion of new resources with which to fight the fires of the global financial crisis. The World Bank has also been put on the job – to respond to what the World Bank and IMF have called a “development emergency”. How well are the [...]
July 17, 2009 / aid
The outcome of last week’s L’Aquila meeting confirms a common (and worrying) aspect of G8 summits: an abundance of promises and commitments, without sufficient details and clear mechanisms that would ensure effective implementation. Perhaps it is finally time to relegate the G8 to the history books and leave it to the G20, or another more inclusive forum for dialogue and coordination, to take the reins of global economic policy.