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Monthly Archives: January 2010

What’s so hard about nation-building?

From today’s NYT

Posted in In the news | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Quake an opportunity for foreigners to “get Haiti right”? Aid “shock doctrine”?

NEIL MacFARQUHAR in a good NYT story this morning  (self-promotion alert: I am quoted in the story) notes all the discussion that the quake is an opportunity to sort out all the problems of long-run Haitian development. But an opportunity for whom? Apparently for foreigners. The story mentions some of the proposals for foreign intervention:[…..]

Posted in Disaster relief, In the news | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

NYU’s Development Research Institute (including Aid Watch) receives 2009 BBVA Development Cooperation Award

Excerpts from the BBVA Foundation press release issued today: January 29, 2010 – The awardof €400,000 goes to the Development Research Institute (DRI) for “its contribution to the analysis of foreign aid provision, and its challenge to the conventional wisdom in development assistance,” in the words of the jury’s citation. The DRI has brought a fresh[…..]

Posted in Meta | Tagged | 11 Comments

Development has a long memory: Children stunted today because of slavery in 1573

Fascinating paper by Melissa Dell at MIT on how indigenous slavery (called the mita)  in the mines of Peru and Bolivia from 1573 to 1812 left a lasting impact on development.

Posted in Academic research | Tagged | 4 Comments

We’re shocked to discover Jessica Simpson doesn’t read our blog

Click here to watch the video. Click here to read our blog post (by guest blogger Alanna Shaikh), just one of many pieces out there trying to give people good advice on the best ways to help in Haiti (HINT: NOT by sending them your old shoes.)

Posted in Badvocacy and celebs | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

The iPad and women’s rights

Within seconds of the unveiling of the iPad by Steve Jobs, Twitter lit up with women complaining and/or joking that the name immediately made them think of a certain feminine hygiene product. #iTampon was the #1 trending topic on Twitter yesterday and remains so this morning. Could this be one of those unintentionally revealing moments[…..]

Posted in In the news, Technology | Tagged , | 29 Comments

Product (RED): from ridicule to dialogue

This blog has ridiculed the RED campaign from all possible angles. We’ve questioned whether creating a few pennies of aid through buying a corporate product is worth all the hype, criticized the murky finances of the legal entity behind RED, and gone after RED co-founder Bono with jibes, fake awards and parodies. Displaying exceptional cool[…..]

Posted in Badvocacy and celebs | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

The vacuous top and the resourceful bottom in the Haiti crisis

Meeting about Haiti in Montreal on Monday, representatives from 14 donor countries and the European Union came together and committed to a detailed, specific, well-coordinated plan … to come up with a plan. Chairman of the Conference, Canada’s Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon: We have a shared vision on the way forward, one plan that ties[…..]

Posted in Disaster relief | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Why populism is popular with elites

Amusing quote from David Brooks’ NYT oped today: populism is popular with the ruling class. Ever since I started covering politics, the Democratic ruling class has been driven by one fantasy: that voters will get so furious at people with M.B.A.’s that they will hand power to people with Ph.D.’s. The Republican ruling class has[…..]

Posted in In the news | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Take seriously the power of networks (or just look at some COOL maps)

A few days ago, I met a guy because he was my wife’s girlfriend’s boyfriend. He turned out to be a high ranking official who had some fascinating inside stories about aid and corruption in an African country (which I won’t name to protect his privacy). A local aid worker friend recommended an orthopedist to[…..]

Posted in Academic research, Big ideas, Data and statistics, Maps | Tagged , , | 11 Comments
  • 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

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