It’s difficult not to be cynical given the futility and waste of many aid programmes, no matter the intent of individuals. The constraints of procurements, lack of transparency and accountability, coupled with donors’ foreign policies, often lead to inefficient and ineffective efforts. All for the sake of creating viable markets out of lagging economies?
The impact of foreign aid and development has received increased visibility and debate among the mainstream media lately. There’s a downloadable podcast on NPR’s Intelligence Squared, which hosts an Oxford-style debate on many topics. Is Aid to Africa Doing More Harm Than Good?, broadcast on 12 Dec 2007, offers interesting insights from both sides of the issue.
And the following is a foreign aid blog in the New York Times, by Nicholas D Kristof. What Aid Workers Do