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
Monthly Archives: August 2010
NYT DEBATE: Can Flood Aid Weaken the Taliban in Pakistan? Or is it more likely that extremist groups will capitalize on the chaos created by the disaster? Laura Freschi’s answer: aid doesn’t help with the Taliban, but give anyway. The idea that flood aid will change Pakistani perceptions about the U.S. in a lasting and[…..]
This amazing collection of color photographs taken in Russia in 1909-1912 is really unmissable (H/T Mari Kuraishi). The picture is of an autocrat in Uzbekistan. Since then, there has been much progress, in the form of cheap polyester suits for today’s autocrats in Uzbekistan.
The US Recovery Act (aka “stimulus package”) has put out this great map of where the money is being spent by Congressional District. As I looked at where the money is being spent in the part of the country pictured (the part I know best), there did not seem to be a lot of rhyme[…..]
In a blog post for The New Republic, author David Rieff calls Hillary Clinton’s approach to development naïve, contradictory, and muddled. His post is a response to Clinton’s speech, delivered last week at SAIS, about the administration’s six-year, $63 billion Global Health Initiative. Rieff’s critique rests on three main arguments, all of which will be[…..]
Editor’s note: Aid Watch received the following from Mercy Corps in response to a request for comment on Till Bruckner’s post The accidental NGO and USAID transparency test. We have reproduced the Mercy Corps response here in full: Till Bruckner’s posts on NGO accountability raise interesting questions – and it is unfortunate that the discussion has[…..]
by Till Bruckner, PhD candidate at the University of Bristol and former Transparency International Georgia aid monitoring coordinator In my last blog post on this website, I claimed that some NGOs had instructed USAID to hide part or all of their project budgets in a FOIA response, and praised others for their openness. Aid Watch subsequently[…..]
By Peter T. Leeson, BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism at George Mason University. Gypsies believe that the lower half of the human body is invisibly polluted, that supernatural defilement is supernaturally contagious, and that non-Gypsies are spiritually toxic. Far from irrational, these superstitions are central to Gypsies’ system of social order. Gypsies can’t[…..]
Among the many other things involved in this controversy, stereotypes of Muslims are not exactly helping. As this blog is (excessively) fond of arguing, ethnic stereotypes are partly fueled by an obscure cognitive bias known as Reversing Conditional Probabilities. As a long ago Aid Watch post argued (sorry for indulging in self-quotation, but hey it’s August, time for reruns):[…..]
Editor’s note: we are posting the following note received in its entirety from World Vision. World Vision Statement In response to the Aid Watch post: The Accidental NGO and USAID Transparency Test World Vision has investigated allegations posted on August 18, 2010 by Till Bruckner, a guest blogger. The blog post charges WV and other NGOs[…..]