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Author Archives: Laura Freschi

The African Success Story

If there was a theme to the development stories I read last week it was that the good news about rising standards of living on much of the African continent is not getting the recognition it deserves in the mainstream imagination. In case you don’t agree that people have a negatively skewed image of Africa[.....]

Posted in Books and book reviews, In the news, Stereotypes | Tagged , , | 40 Comments

Commemorating the Triangle Fire

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire. 146 people, mainly immigrant women, some as young as 14 years old, died when a fire broke out on the top three floors of a garment factory at the corner of Greene and Washington Place, just off Washington Square Park in New York City.[.....]

Posted in History, In the news | 13 Comments

Malaria, past and present

Paul Russell, the main architect of the Malaria Eradication Program, had promised the Eisenhower Administration that the DDT-spray teams would extend a hand of friendship to wavering Cold War allies, revive the entrepreneurial spirit of populations made dull and sickly by malaria, open up huge areas of fertile land for cultivation, pro-mote economic development, end poverty, and spur demand for American products. But the global[.....]

Posted in Books and book reviews, Global health | 13 Comments

Does Japan need your donation?

Many aid bloggers and journalists are doing a good job communicating a nuanced message about how to respond to the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. From Stephanie Strom, writing in the New York Times: The Japanese Red Cross…has said repeatedly since the day after the earthquake that it does not want or need outside[.....]

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Disaster relief | Tagged , , | 44 Comments

World Vision Super Bowl Shirts: the Final Chapter

Remember back in February when World Vision’s proud announcement that they were sending abroad 100,000 Super Bowl champion T-shirts emblazoned with the name of the losing team, as they have for the last 15 years, provoked aid blogger ire? We’ve been following the controversy—and occasionally piling on joining in—and here’s the latest. In an email[.....]

Posted in Accountability and transparency, Aid debates, Aid policies and approaches | Tagged , , | 19 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

New location for New Directions in Development

The location of our annual conference- this Friday March 4 from 10 am to 4 pm- has changed! Due to unexpected but welcome demand for conference seats, we’ve moved the venue one block further north to:

The Great Hall at Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street, New York City
Click here for Google Map

The conference is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Why we’ll always have benevolent autocrats

Last Friday, Bill gave a talk at the School for International and Public Affairs at Columbia.  NYU-Wagner student Christopher Faris summarized the speech over on the Wagner blog, and gives a great run-down of the audience reaction at Columbia: …Easterly argued that the theory of growth-boosting ‘benevolent autocrats’ (think China’s economic boom) is, at best,[.....]

Posted in Aid debates, Aid policies and approaches, Meta | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

World Vision responds to blogger questions

Editor’s Note 10:45 am 2/18/2011: Thanks to all the commentators, you really wrote a new post for us today. We have emailed World Vision follow up questions, especially taking them up on their offer to provide examples below. They said they will respond by middle of next week as they get their national offices to[.....]

Posted in Aid policies and approaches | Tagged , , , , , , | 34 Comments

In Zambia, Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl: Why is World Vision perpetuating discredited T-shirt aid?

Editor’s Note 4: 10:45am 2/15: @saundra_s reports there are now 36 bloggers that have posted on this (excluding WV itself or its staffers), of which 35 are against. One more against here from faith perspective. Now have a Twitter hashtag #100kshirts. Editor’s Note 3: 8:45am 2/15: heard from @WorldVisionUSA finally! got this direct message on Twitter:[.....]

Posted in Aid debates, Aid policies and approaches | Tagged , , , , , , , | 54 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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