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Category Archives: Aid debates

Killing microfinance to say they saved the poor

Vivek Nemana is an NYU graduate student and a student worker at DRI. It’s official: Indian politicians have agreed to regulate the private microfinance sector…by choking it in a tangle of bureaucracy and corruption. As everyone from David Roodman (on this blog) to the Cambridge randomistas (in the FT) has been saying, Indian microfinance needs[.....]

Also posted in Financing development, In the news, Organizational behavior | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Aid Watch Rerun: A suggestion for the 1MillionShirts guy

NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: Over the holidays, we’ll be publishing reruns of some of our posts from the first 2 years of Aid Watch. This post originally ran on April 28, 2010, and was one contribution to a controversy that erupted on the internet when aid workers got wind of an amateur aid effort called 1 million[.....]

Also posted in Badvocacy and celebs | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Aid Watch Rerun: The lure of starting from scratch

NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: Over the holidays, we’ll be publishing reruns of some of our posts from the first 2 years of Aid Watch. This post originally ran on June 17, 2010. It is an acknowledged national characteristic that Americans believe in self-reinvention. One of our founding myths—inspired by the once unexplored and sparsely populated expanse of[.....]

Also posted in Aid policies and approaches, Maps | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Aid Watch Rerun: And Now For Something Completely Different: Davos Features “Refugee Run”

NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: Over the holidays, we’ll be publishing reruns of some of our posts from the first 2 years of Aid Watch. This post originally ran on Jan 28, 2008, and attracted a firestorm of comments, passionately for and against the idea. There will be a similar event again this year at Davos. When[.....]

Also posted in Badvocacy and celebs, Human rights, Stereotypes | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Human Development Index debate…you still want more?

I suspect that we long ago exhausted the patience of our readers with our multiple rounds of debate on the Human Development Report’s new methodology for its Human Development Index. At the same time, I feel an obligation to let the other side of the debate have their say as much as they want. So here is[.....]

Also posted in Metrics and evaluation | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Development is Uneven, Get Over It

UPDATE: out of 188 recorded songs on all Beatles albums, how many are now hits on iTunes? See end of post. This a 20 minute extemporaneous talk at UNICEF headquarters in New York on the topic of “Inclusive Growth”. After the talk, there is a question, comment, and response session with the audience.  The full[.....]

Also posted in Democracy and freedom, Economics principles, Human rights | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

True Confessions: I’m still unable to conclude whether aid does more harm than good

Margaret Wente  in Toronto Globe and Mail perceives a growing backlash against humanitarian aid, that it may be doing more harm than good in Africa (she concentrates on seemingly everyone’s (including ours) recent favorite example of Ethiopia). I’m quoted in the article accurately. Contrary to some perceptions (not in Wente’s article) however, I have never made a general[.....]

Also posted in In the news, Meta | 22 Comments

A tryst with TOMS

Vivek Nemana is a graduate student in economics at New York University and works for DRI. I remember wanting to save the world when I bought my first (and only) pair of TOMS Shoes. I was a freshman at NYU and involved in a handful of Save the Child Soldiers/Darfur/Fair Trade student clubs. With TOMS,[.....]

Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

Eyes Wide Shut: Philanthropy Action on the “Rescheduled” Sachs vs. Clemens/Demombynes debate

Tim Ogden at Philanthropy Action issues a petition for the “rescheduled” (quotes in original) Sachs vs. Clemens/Demombynes debate on evaluating Millennium Villages, which was supposed to happen last Wednesday, to be indeed, well, rescheduled. He asks for all of us to be watching whether this indeed happens. Aid Watch is always in favor of more Watching, so[.....]

Also posted in Aid policies and approaches, Grand plans and aid targets, In the news | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Tribute to Center for Global Development (CGD)

Dennis Whittle has a nice post praising CGD. I couldn’t agree more, even when not agreeing on every issue with Nancy Birdsall and the brilliant staff she has hired at CGD. I will always be grateful to Nancy from an intensely personal perspective. She courageously took me in at CGD when I had become persona non grata to the[.....]

Tagged , | 2 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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