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Tag Archives: Afghanistan

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 | Also tagged , , 32 Comments

In memoriam, Linda Norgrove, humanitarian in Afghanistan

The New York Times reports: A Scottish aid worker who was taken hostage two weeks ago by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan was killed by her captors early Saturday during an unsuccessful rescue raid, according to the British Foreign Office. The aid worker, Linda Norgrove, 36, was regional director of a jobs program financed by[.....]

Posted in In the news | Also tagged 10 Comments

Media now cares about Pakistan; aid workers’ surprising lack of confidence in Afghan army protection; North Korean jeans

Now abundant coverage of Pakistan flood, is it making up for previous non-story? Sorry, Karzai, Aid workers do want to keep their own guards in Afghanistan, as compared to corrupt and incompetent offical Afghan forces. I always argue that comparative advantage is surprising, but even so was caught off guard by newly fashionable North Korean jeans.

Posted in In the news | Also tagged , 4 Comments

Can aid win hearts and minds?

A recent Christian Science Monitor article reported that USAID is “losing hearts and minds” in Afghanistan’s northeastern Badakshan province because of failed and shoddy projects, corruption, secrecy and waste. Given how much of the US aid budget is spent trying to make the world a safer and more secure place for Americans, you might think[.....]

Posted in Academic research, Military aid | Also tagged , , 16 Comments

He may be an evil Afghan warlord…

But he’s OUR evil Afghan warlord (NYT)

Posted in In the news | Also tagged 3 Comments

Oops, did I just prove “Confessions of a hit man” conspiracy?

Ray Fisman in Slate takes my paper with Daniel Berger, Nathan Nunn, and Shanker Satyanath on Commercial Imperialism as partial confirmation of John Perkins’ allegation of a global conspiracy to take down poor nations for the benefit of rich corporations. This is fun, so let’s run with it. Of course there’s a eeny weeny difference between[.....]

Posted in Academic research, Trade | Also tagged , 10 Comments

We have met the enemy and he is powerpoint: NYT on the military

The New York Times had a front pager today on a story that this blog (twice: Dec 22, 2009 and Dec 12, 2009 ) and other blogs has been all over for months — the use of nonsensical Powerpoint slides to guide the US military in Afghanistan. The NYT reproduced the infamous Afghan nation-building spaghetti chart over most of[.....]

Posted in Democracy and freedom, In the news, Military aid | Also tagged , 12 Comments

The worst-kept secret in aid: aid-receiving governments run the aid agencies

see UPDATE at end of this post Thomas Friedman had a good NYT column about Karzai yesterday. {{1}} His column cleared up the puzzlement created by a Dallas News editorial and other very similar stories about how Obama’s visit to Afghanistan to get Karzai to clean up corruption was great for “seizing Karzai’s attention.” Now we[.....]

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Big ideas, In the news | Also tagged , , , 12 Comments

Three Afghan success stories

Today, finally a break from the doom and gloom on Afghanistan! Clare Lockhart, the CEO of the Institute for State Effectiveness, spoke at DRI’s annual conference last month and gave three examples of what has gone right in the international effort to rebuild Afghanistan. These reforms and projects have lasted despite worsening security conditions and[.....]

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Big ideas, Financing development | Also tagged , 12 Comments

Rodrik, Defining Libertarians, Afghan Tribes, Finding Coffee in New York

Links for Friday: Dani Rodrik gets way too excited about changing IMF views on capital controls. Will Wilkinson: libertarians are liberals who like markets. The NYT again tries tribal analysis in Afghanistan: did they get it wrong again? Bonus non-development link: where to find the best coffee in New York

Posted in In the news, Maps | Also 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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