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Monthly Archives: November 2010

The 100 Bestest Global Thinkers

The Foreign Policy magazine ranking of the top 100 Global Thinkers just came out. The rankings can be a bit mysterious, like college football rankings that confuse Texas Christian University with a real football team. I myself had a two-year run in the top 100 for still unexplained reasons. Alas, a late-season loss to Collier[…..]

Posted in Badvocacy and celebs, Big ideas | 12 Comments

Understanding India’s Microcredit Crisis

by David Roodman, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development As Vivek Nemana reported here, the Indian microcredit industry has pitched into what appears to be a replay of the American subprime debacle. I just spent a week in India, talking to nearly everyone. I learned there were so many complexities—history, politics, institutional rivalries— that to just view[…..]

Posted in Financing development, In the news, Organizational behavior | 9 Comments

One problem with reports from large bureaucracies

Here is an NYT headline and a WSJ headline on the same Pentagon report last Tuesday. Reports produced in large bureaucracies have to interpret the “facts” so as to please competing interest groups within the bureaucracy, as I can testify from my World Bank experience. The result is usually a report with a very unclear[…..]

Posted in In the news | 12 Comments

The best address ever given to UN General Assembly

Best line: Ethnic cleansing? Talk to the hand!

(If you can’t see the video on the blog, the link is here.)

Posted in Satire and parodies | 4 Comments

WHO: 20 to 40 percent of money spent on health wasted, more funds needed to be wasted

Health care systems worldwide are wasting up to 40 percent of their funds, but more money is needed to boost their capabilities, according to a new report from the World Health Organization. In an analysis of how countries pay for health and what they get in return, the United Nations agency concluded that despite these[…..]

Posted in Global health, In the news | 4 Comments

Aid Watch Thanksgiving Thanks

It’s not commonly known that the most skeptical and critical people usually have a strong sentimental streak…at least if I can extrapolate from introspection…. So here goes for what Aid Watch is sincerely thankful for: For the largest reduction in world poverty in human history, which has already happened in our generation. For the largest[…..]

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Lennon vs. Bono

I watched last night a remarkable documentary on the life of John Lennon called “Imagine.” For my generation, it’s pretty much automatic that Lennon is our hero, and I am no different. But then I thought, do I have a double standard? I criticize celebrity musicians today like Bono for taking on a role like[…..]

Posted in Badvocacy and celebs, Uncategorized | 38 Comments

Fighting for Freedom of the Press in Ethiopia and AidBlogWorld

Had a fascinating lunch today with Dawit Kebede, the courageous editor of the only remaining independent newspaper in Addis Ababa.  He is getting a  2010 International Press Freedom Award tonight in New York from the Committee to Protect Journalists. I hope he gets lots more recognition for what he’s doing to preserve a neutral, independent voice. Thank goodness we[…..]

Posted in Democracy and freedom | 10 Comments

A Subprime Crisis for the Poorest?

Vivek Nemana is a graduate student in economics at New York University and works for DRI. The impending collapse of the microfinance industry in Andhra Pradesh, one of India’s largest states and a major hub of microfinance, is the ultimate example of a silver aid bullet…not being a silver aid bullet at all. The New[…..]

Posted in In the news | Tagged , | 21 Comments

QDDR: we can hardly contain our excitement

Aid Watch is as excited as everyone else to get a leaked, advance summary of the Quadrennial Development and Diplomacy Review, (HT Josh Rogin at Foreign Policy) which is a critical part of the US government process to set its priorities  on Development. We love to seize occasions where we can be more positive to reward positive things[…..]

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Grand plans and aid targets, Maps, Military aid | 14 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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