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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Allow me to introduce the world’s latest aid skeptic: Barack Obama

If the international community just keeps doing the same things the same way, we will miss many development goals.

For too long, we’ve measured our efforts by the dollars we spent … But aid alone is not development.

Our focus on assistance has saved lives in the short term, but it hasn’t always improved those societies over the long term. Consider the millions of people who have relied on food assistance for

Posted in Financing development | Tagged , | 13 Comments

What Hillary’s cookstoves need to succeed

This post was written by Alanna Shaikh. Alanna is a global health professional who blogs at UN Dispatch and Blood and Milk.

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton announced a new $60 million initiative to help 100 million households adopt clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership that includes the US State Department, the UN Foundation, the World Food Program, Royal Dutch Shell, the World Health Organization,…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Global health | Tagged , , | 29 Comments

Positives are popular, skeptics are digital

My print copy of today’s Financial Times had this at the bottom of the oped page.

Yesterday’s FT print edition had a column by Jeff Sachs. The positive gets the column, the skeptic gets the footnote.

Bitter, who me &^%$#@?

To be honest, I get more press space (both in print and online) than I really deserve, compared to other skeptics. But, in general,  positives get more way more press than they…

Posted in Aid debates | 12 Comments

The Millennium Development What?

This is a joint post written with Claudia Williamson, a post-doctoral fellow at DRI.

If you’re reading this blog, and especially if you’re in New York City right now, you’re probably familiar with the Millennium Development Goals. Besides being the focus of this week’s United Nations summit, they are just (according to the UN) “the most broadly supported, comprehensive, and specific development goals” in human history. Should we fail to meet them by 2015, (according…

Posted in Grand plans and aid targets | 10 Comments

Heated debate with John McArthur on MDGs and accountability

In 2000, nearly every country in the world made a promise to achieve a set of eight goals, including poverty reduction, women’s empowerment and universal primary education by 2015. How far have we gotten? Host Michel Martin speaks with two opposing voices about the progress made this far: John McArthur, CEO of Millennium Promise, and William Easterly, professor of economics at New York University.

Listen to the interview on NPR’s Tell Me More. Once…

Posted in Accountability and transparency, Aid debates, Aid policies and approaches, In the news | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Millennium Development Goal that really does work has been forgotten

UPDATE 12 noon: this  is a dueling oped with Sachs on ft.com, debate has moved on and even some agreement (see end of post) from a column in the on-line Financial Times today ; for ungated access and a picture of the handsome author go here.

The Millennium Development Goals tragically misused the world’s goodwill to support failed official aid approaches to global poverty and gave virtually no support to proven approaches. Economists such as…

Posted in Aid debates, Aid policies and approaches, In the news, Trade | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Maybe this is why accountability for Millennium Development Goals did not work out that well

Posted in Academic research, Accountability and transparency | 24 Comments

Speaking at 12:15pm today at Stand Up NYC for MDGs

at Lincoln Center outdoors. Please come and join the other 5 people listening.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Cry the Beloved Country: Ethiopians criticize Columbia for hosting Meles

UPDATE Sept 19, 8:30am (see end of post)

I have been getting a lot of email from Ethiopian-Americans who are very upset that Columbia University has invited Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to speak this coming Wednesday, like this one:

Most of the professors who come across him, in most cases are neutralized or transformed as his advocates. So far, you are the only one standing clear, so the Ethiopian people need one intellectual friend like

Posted in Democracy and freedom | Tagged , | 50 Comments

FAO senior economist responds on “made-up world hunger numbers”

We received this comment this morning from David Dawe, senior economist at FAO, in response to Wednesday’s post
Spot the made-up world hunger numbers. Kudos for the prompt reply and the willingness to engage in discussion.

Dear Professor Easterly,

I am a leader of the technical team in FAO responsible for publication of the State of Food Insecurity in the World, which reports FAO’s estimates of undernourishment every year. I would like to…

Posted in Data and statistics | 9 Comments