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Category Archives: Maps

OK let’s get really rigorous about using local knowledge on US regions

One great response to Friday’s post on David Brooks’ less-than-perfect-knowledge about the Midwest was a Discover Magazine blog post by Razib Khan that provided the following evidence-based map: and for those who missed it in the comments section, here’s a story from my favorite news source: ‘Midwest’ Discovered Between East And West Coasts “I long[…..]

Also posted in Satire and parodies | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Red states & Blue cities: Divided we’ll endure anyway

Happy election day! Aid Watch is unable to maintain any pretense of doing its normal business in the midst of all the excitement. Please vote early and often for the candidate of your choice, as long as they passed 8th grade science. This cool 3-D map shows the Red – Blue split in a way that captures[…..]

Also posted in Political economy | 8 Comments

World according to Blattman

Honoring Stealing from Chris Blattman’s great blog, I am reproducing some of his recent posts because they have been unusually fun & good and because I’m just too lazy to write my own blog today. Favorite distorted maps of Africa: Favorite wordle on which countries are mentioned in Journal of Development Economics shown below. I’m fascinated by this. One[…..]

Also posted in Metrics and evaluation | 2 Comments

The plight of the African intellectual – a moral fable

Once upon a time, there were two great lands: Donorlandia and Africa. Donorlandia had many intellectuals who opined about the solutions for Africa, who received much attention in the media of Donorlandia. Few African intellectuals received as much, or even any, such attention when they discussed their own land. Donorlandia’s intellectuals could work for great[…..]

Also posted in Satire and parodies | 23 Comments

Lant Pritchett on what Obama got right about development

by Lant Pritchett, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University Obama’s speech at the MDG conference and the announced US Global Development Policy are the result of long preparation and internal discussions within the administration as part of the Presidential Study Directive, lead out of the NSC, announced a year ago, and the QDDR, prepared by[…..]

Also posted in Financing development | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Diary of a serial summit attendee

One week. Two development summits. Hundreds of heads of state, development luminaries, CEOs, and social entrepreneurs. Celebrity star power. No poor people. Aid Watch spent three days trying to make sense of the greatest show on earth to help the world’s lowest. TUESDAY 0930 hrs: I am crammed into a press box at the back[…..]

Also posted in Field notes | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Beautiful fractals and ugly inequality

UPDATE 4pm: is there any point to this post? see end of text UPDATE II: 4:30pm Critic cuts me some slack. see end of text UPDATE III 11am, 9/10/10: Paul Krugman says he had the idea first (see end of text) In our ceaseless search for trendy themes, let’s consider today the beauty of fractals.[…..]

Also posted in Metrics and evaluation | Tagged , | 43 Comments

Constructivist cartography

The development blogosphere recently lit up with news of South Sudan’s plan to rebuild some of its urban centers in the shape of various animals. The plan elicited no shortage of guffaws, as is appropriate. But in the interest of maintaining AidWatch’s contrarian reputation, this post argues that we should be careful about focusing our[…..]

Also posted in Grand plans and aid targets, In the news | Tagged | 7 Comments

This just in: there was a flood in Pakistan

We have chronicled here on Aid Watch how media coverage of disasters influences disasters, and how late the US media has been to the story of the disastrous flood in Pakistan, with apparently anemic donor response as a result. Puzzlement deepened this morning at 7:30 am when I picked up my NYT off my doorstep[…..]

Also posted in Disaster relief, In the news | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Our internal foreign aid program

The US Recovery Act (aka “stimulus package”) has put out this great map of where the money is being spent by Congressional District. As I looked at where the money is being spent in the part of the country pictured (the part I know best), there did not seem to be a lot of rhyme[…..]

Also posted in Accountability and transparency | 12 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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