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Monthly Archives: June 2010

Congolese stubbornly insist on celebrating 50th anniversary of their independence…

…despite the extreme negative images by which DR Congo is known exclusively in the Western media.  See also the great video at Texas in Africa.

Posted in In the news | Tagged , | 3 Comments

International Aid Worker Appreciation Day

A big part of what we do on this blog is criticize bad ideas in aid. But in our zeal to get this message across, sometimes other, important messages get lost. Today, we devote the blog to expressing our admiration and respect for aid workers. Aid work can be a tough, grueling, frustrating, even heart-breaking[…..]

Posted in History | Tagged | 15 Comments

Is aid stuck using IBM punch cards?

This post was written by Dennis Whittle. Dennis is the CEO of GlobalGiving, an international marketplace for philanthropy. When I went to college in the late 1970s we used punch cards like the one pictured here to put information into the (mainframe) computer. Over the next thirty years, competition in computer technology led to rapid innovation.[…..]

Posted in Technology | Tagged , | 24 Comments

FT: Celebrities urge G8 to make new unkept promises to keep previous unkept promises

Oh how we wish it would be otherwise! What will it take? Alan Beattie writes on the G8 in the FT: It stretches the most elastic mind to envisage the collective wrath of Scarlett Johansson, Annie Lennox, Bill Nighy, Kristin Davis and Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, but it descended on the heads of the[…..]

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Badvocacy and celebs, Grand plans and aid targets, Organizational behavior, Political economy | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

A journey through wealth and poverty in New York City

The horizontal axis is moving South to North through adjacent census tracts on the route described.  The vertical axis is median household income in each census tract. Why are there such extremes of wealth and poverty even inside a “developed” economy like New York City? What does it teach us about economic development and underdevelopment?

Posted in Economics principles | 9 Comments

Do only democracies have anti-immigrant movements?

This great picture on changing share of foreign-born residents in the NYT today (showing countries with largest increase): You can see why anti-immigration sentiment is a big deal in the European countries shown and in the US. (This is a descriptive statement, I myself hate xenophobia.) But what about the countries at the top of[…..]

Posted in Democracy and freedom, In the news, Migration, Political economy | Tagged | 10 Comments

Here’s what reporters would really like to say about G20 summit

…at which ministers from around the world gather to wring their hands impotently about the most fashionable issue of the day. The organisation has sought to justify its almost completely fruitless existence by joining its many fellow talking-shops in highlighting whatever crisis has recently gained most coverage in the global media. By making a big deal[…..]

Posted in In the news | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

US food aid policies create 561 jobs in Kansas, risk millions of lives around the world

I read recently the First Law of Policy Economics: Every inefficiency is someone’s income. US food aid policy is definitely no exception, and it is riddled with inefficiencies. Exhibit A: This invitation from a coalition of big US shipping interests to an event in Washington today. At this event, USA Maritime will have tried to[…..]

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Disaster relief, Political economy, Trade | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

How the development of technology averts Shakespearean tragedies

Juliet texts Romeo: Going 2 play dead, LOL! Huff Post unearths email incriminating Iago after 24/7 coverage of Desdemona-cheating-on-Othello rumors Hamlet gets treatment for depression, starts blog “Rotten in the State of Denmark” Brutus orchestrates Twitter campaign to overthrow Julius Caesar MacBeth double-checks Facebook page of Three Witches, comments: “no way I’m basing career decisions on[…..]

Posted in Technology | 7 Comments

Response to Dani Rodrik on Washington Consensus

Dani gives a response to some “counter-arguments” against his post favoring Import-substituting Industrialization (ISI) over Washington Consensus (WC) that had mysteriously “resuscitated” themselves after they “had long been laid to rest.” I appreciate Dani’s courtesy in not identifying the culprits in this misguided resuscitation of long-dead counterarguments, but it does make it a little difficult to[…..]

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Economics principles | Tagged , , | 8 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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