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Search Results for: Afghanistan

Development before security…is a killer

In an article that just might have been overshadowed by bigger news out of the “AfPak” region Sunday night, the New York Times reported on USAID’s project to build the Gardez-Khost Highway in Afghanistan. This 64-mile stretch of road meant to connect the two mountainous southeastern provinces of Paktia and Khost is shoddily constructed and incomplete after 3 years.

Not least among the problems was that construction began before the region was cleared

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, In the news, Military aid | 21 Comments

All Cups, No Tea

Another humanitarian hero has tumbled off his pedestal.

It remains to be seen whether Greg Mortenson, author of the best-selling “Three Cups of Tea,” will be able to avert a total reputation meltdown. But last Sunday’s 60 Minutes broadcast and a thorough exposé by Jon Krakauer provide convincing evidence for some serious allegations…

Posted in Accountability and transparency, Aid policies and approaches, In the news | Tagged , , , | 32 Comments

The World According to USAID


Higher resolution file here.

This animated cartogram, created  by William and Mary student Ashley Ingram and blogged by Mike Tierney at AidData’s The First Tranche, shows aid flows from the US government to the rest of the world from 1985 to 2008.

To produce these maps, the geographic area of a country is replaced by the dollar value of its aid, so that the size of a country fluctuates from year to year depending on how much money the US sends it for development assistance. At the same time, the countries are shaded lighter or darker according to per capita income levels.

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Data and statistics | 10 Comments

Stop! Tom Friedman said something smart, about Arab world, Afghanistan, Pakistan

This blog and this author have given poor Mr. Friedman grief in the past for babbling nonsense. So it’s only fair that we give America’s favorite random idea generator credit when he comes up with a surprisingly cogent paragraph:

When one looks across the Arab world today at the stunning spontaneous democracy uprisings, it is impossible to not ask: What are we doing spending $110 billion this year supporting corrupt and unpopular regimes in

Posted in Aid debates, In the news, Military aid | Tagged | 14 Comments

A tragic sexual assault becomes pretext to insult both women and Muslims

Update Sunday 2/20/2010: good stories in NYT today: Reporting While Female and Why We Need Women in War Zones

One of my favorite blogs, the awesome Wronging Rights, does the definitive take on the Lara Logan story, a CBS reporter who was sexually assaulted on one of the violent days during the Egypt uprising:

The internet, it appeared, was largely in agreement: what happened to Logan was terrible, but hardly surprising

Posted in Human rights, In the news, Women and gender | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

State Department accountable through glossy photos

by Chris Coyne, F.A. Harper Professor of Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Investors in the Kwality Kites Corporation gather to listen to the CEO’s ‘year in review’ presentation.

“In 2010,” begins the CEO, “we coordinated plans to deliver kites while supporting sustainable operations”

An investor raises her hand: “Can you tell us what you mean by ‘coordinated plans’ and ‘sustainable operations’ and what they have to do with…

Posted in Accountability and transparency | 6 Comments

Don’t forget the Congolese who helped tell the Congo story

When Western  journalists report from the front lines in Africa, the reader may not be aware how much these reporters depend on Africans as sources, guides, translators, fixers, and intermediaries.

The curtain has just parted a bit to see one of these locals, a Congolese hero who helped get the story of the Congo out to the rest of the world (quoting CPJ):

Pastor Marrion P’Udongo has been called the “Oskar Schindler” of Congo…In

Posted in Field notes, In the news | Tagged | 2 Comments

Following the money, from DC to Haiti and back again

Out of every $100 of U.S. contracts now paid out to rebuild Haiti, Haitian firms have successfully won $1.60, The Associated Press has found in a review of contracts since the earthquake on Jan. 12. And the largest initial U.S. contractors hired fewer Haitians than planned.

Discouraging news from an AP article out this week. The article tells the story of one 40-year old Haitian construction supply business. Despite playing by the rules and…

Posted in In the news | 11 Comments

What the New HDI tells us about Africa

by Francisco Rodríguez, Head of Research at the Human Development Report Office

In a post published last Thursday, Bill Easterly and Laura Freschi criticize the new formula for the Human Development Index (HDI) introduced in this year’s Human Development Report.  Borrowing on a recent paper by the World Bank’s Martin Ravallion, Easterly and Freschi argue that our decision to shift from an additive to a multiplicative mean makes Africa look much worse than it should.

The…

3D Action: Hillary orders US government staff to spy at UN

Thanks to Wikileaks, we have a new appreciation how seriously Clinton takes that whole 3Ds thing (Defense/ Diplomacy/ Development). We all should work together, which apparently means all work for the Defense (cum Intelligence) establishment.

According to a secret July 31, 2009 cable signed by Clinton, now available thanks to Wiki the on NYT web site, she asked all US government staff at UN, even over and above her own diplomats (does that include aid staff also?)…

Posted in In the news | 20 Comments