- Use a precise definition of poverty: living on less than $1.25 a day, adjusted for purchasing power. Give the precise number who fit that definition.
- Ignore the recent revision of this number by 42%.
- Do not excessively analyze geographic or ethnographic distinctions amongst poor people.
- Discuss the following: poverty traps, vicious circles, aid financing gaps.
- There probably won’t be time left to discuss the following concepts: initiative, savings, inventiveness, resourcefulness, adaptation to local conditions, or local knowledge.
- Discuss only income, health, access to clean water, and literacy. Leave it to anthropologists to cover areas like happiness, traditions, ceremonies, festivals, friendships, kinship, love between men and women, or love between parents and children.
- Display pictures of poor children (alternatively women).
- Don’t show pictures of poor men, who make your audience think of drunkards, wife-beaters, or janjaweed.
- These topics are only for Marxists: power, class, discrimination, oppression, or history.
- Your knowledge about poor people should come from other writers who observe these rules.
About Aid Watch
The Aid Watch blog is a project of New York University's Development Research Institute (DRI). This blog is principally written by William Easterly, author of "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics" and "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good," and Professor of Economics at NYU. It is co-written by Laura Freschi and by occasional guest bloggers. Our work is based on the idea that more aid will reach the poor the more people are watching aid.
"Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking." - H.L. Mencken