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Category Archives: Poverty

World Bank busted for stereotypical images of Ghana

The World Bank has apologized for photographs on the web site for participants at its recent annual meetings, which showed offensive stereotypes about Ghana. A Ghanaian journalist broke the story after he saw the images portraying “a country full of hungry and miserable people.” This has prompted an outcry and debate in Ghana.

Also posted in Stereotypes | 7 Comments

Why is promising a right to food more politically appealing than delivering that food?

In India, the system that delivers subsidized food and fuel to the nation’s poor is badly broken. Many people who are supposed to receive the subsidized fuel and bags of grain do not, and “studies show that 70 percent of a roughly $12 billion budget is wasted, stolen, or absorbed by bureaucratic and transportation costs.”

This is according to a recent NYT article by Jim Yardley, which frames the current debate about what should…

Also posted in Human rights | 19 Comments

A Lecturer answers The Big Question

Two of my favorites, Chris Blattman and Megan McArdle , recently had a great dialogue on “is aid depressing?” I don’t have anything to add–read them!

However,  their dialogue does remind me of  The Big Question that I and many others get whenever we give lectures on economic development. Inevitably, after every single lecture I have ever given, the first question is … What Can I Do to End World Poverty?

How to respond? On one hand, I…

Also posted in Big ideas | Tagged , | 11 Comments

IMF and World Bank Take On Istanbul: A Links Round-up

- Zoellick speech on the eve of Istanbul: Current upheaval = French revolution, Africa’s growth potential = Europe’s with Marshall Plan. Earth-shaking changes: “Bretton Woods is being overhauled before our eyes.”

- Impartial observers like Nancy Birdsall noticed more “the timidity of planned reforms” like glacial reform on quota/voting power at the IMF and the World Bank.

- A communiqué issued yesterday offered more of the same weak brew, and reiterated the…

Also posted in In the news, Technology | Comments Off

Response from tourism operator to “Should starving people be tourist attractions”

Dear William,

While it is generally a pleasure to get to know you, the circumstances are rather sad. I thank you, nevertheless, for inviting me personally to respond to your blog. I’m the Director of the Eos Visions network that got under fire here and – and I’m happy to admit it – the author of the brochure that you and several of your commentators criticize to a point that verges on insult.

I…

Also posted in Grand plans and aid targets | 22 Comments

Should starving people be tourist attractions?

millennium-village-tourist.gif

Senegalese entrepreneur Magatte Wade on the Huffington Post touched a raw nerve about condescension towards Africans. She noted that a tourism operator was marketing one of Jeff Sachs’ Millennium Villages (MVs) as a vacation destination and quoted from the brochure “Please do not give anything to the villagers — no sweets.”

I decided to look more into the MV tourism project, not to pile on, but because I believe patronizing attitudes towards Africans…

Also posted in Cognitive biases | Tagged , | 41 Comments

Response to “Does God Believe in Jeff Sachs”?

I invited Jay Lawlor, the head of Millennium Congregations, and Jonathan Denn, the head of CountingPrayers.Org to respond to the blog post. I have not heard yet from Mr. Lawlor, but Mr. Denn responded. His letter follows:

Dear Professor Easterly,

Thank you for notifying me of your blog, and the invitation to respond. I was most sorry to hear of your severe crisis of faith, hopefully this will be of solace.

A couple corrections, I…

Also posted in Aid debates, Grand plans and aid targets | 9 Comments