Skip to content

Category Archives: Aid policies and approaches

On Sustainable Sustainability: A UN Prose Poem

UPDATE 2: Another proposal received from Unconfirmed Sources: Politicians supporting UN funding will be required to incorporate all of the text below into one of their own speeches to their own voters.

UPDATE: Just got a new proposal from the Center for Unacceptable Common Sense: Anyone funding UN should internalize the effect of their funding on creation of UN prose. First proposed tax on you: you are required to read all 1000+ words below and recite…

Also posted in Language | Tagged , , | 13 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, not proven and at worst a compelling but flawed idea to which development practitioners hopefully cling – to everyone’s

Also posted in Aid debates, 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 respond.

In an email to the communications  department at World Vision, we collected and forwarded a few of the questions…

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: “Thanks for following WV! For even more opportunities to get involved, check us out on Facebook.”

Editor’s Note

Also posted in Aid debates | Tagged , , , , , , , | 54 Comments

Development in 3 Sentences

I liked this formulation from the blog The Coming Prosperity, posted today as a link on Twitter:

If solutions are known, need $$. If solutions are knowable, need evaluations. If solutions are evolving, need entrepreneurs.

Consumer Warnings: This comes at the end of a long diatribe against You-Know-Who (associated with $$). I’m not sure the author is a reliable guide to other people’s work, since Yours Truly is incorrectly associated with “evaluations.”

Also posted in Aid debates, Metrics and evaluation | 8 Comments

Why development history matters for the Millennium Villages Project

by Ed Carr, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina

A growing volume of critical writing on the Millennium Villages project (MVP) includes blog posts, journalistic piecesscholarly works, and, recently, one partial social impact study. Nearly all point to project outcomes that could have been avoided had the project seriously engaged with the long history of field-based experiences in development.

Here, I will focus on just…

Also posted in Accountability and transparency | Tagged | 12 Comments

It takes more than a cow, but…girls still count

By Amanda Glassman, Director of Global Health Policy at the Center for Global Development, and Miriam Temin, co-author of Start With A Girl

In her blog post on Aid Watch last week, Anna Carella took on the “Girl Effect,” using some faulty logic and evidence oversights. Marketing may have over-simplified the message in the translation of research to advocacy in the campaign, but let’s take the post point-by-point:

[The campaign…] relies…on the view that women are innately

Also posted in Women and gender | 19 Comments

Aid is not just complicated; it’s complex

One of the points that we try to make on this blog is that aid, planned from an ultra high level and driven to alleviate just the symptoms of poverty, doesn’t realistically address the complex problems of international development. We understand that our own economies are complex and require complex allocation mechanisms (i.e. markets; see also “failure of the U.S.S.R.”) but this thinking doesn’t hold when it comes to helping the poor. So consequently we…

Also posted in Language | Tagged , , , | 24 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 the North American continent—is the idea that you can head out of town, leave the encumbrances of the past…

Also posted in Aid debates, Maps | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Aid Watch Rerun: Nobody wants your old shoes: How not to help in Haiti

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 a week after the Haiti earthquake, on January 16, 2010.

The following post is by Alanna Shaikh. Alanna is a global health professional who blogs at UN Dispatch and Blood and Milk.

Don’t donate goods. Donating stuff instead of money is a serious problem…

Also posted in Disaster relief | Tagged , | 1 Comment