An old poem on Development

The Development Setby Ross Coggins Excuse me, friends, I must catch my jet I'm off to join the Development Set; My bags are packed, and I've had all my shots I have traveller's checks and pills for the trots! The Development Set is bright and noble Our thoughts are deep and our vision global; Although we move with the better classes Our thoughts are always with the masses. … [Read more...]

Where does aid money come from?

This interactive map with accompanying document shows the source of aid by country, and maps other interesting information such as corruption, natural disasters, security risk areas, etc. (If aid map is not the default, click the scroll-down map to 'aid'.)Aid began after WWII in the new international economic system. Supporting insufficient capital flows in developing countries became part of the Cold War politics. OECD collects data on Official Development Assistance, which does not include funds from philantrophic sources, private foundations, or NGOs.To address poverty, in a 1970 UN resolution, industrialised nations committed 0.7% of their GNI towards international aid. Of the 22 OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries, … [Read more...]

Foreign Aid and Development

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 … [Read more...]

Aid frustrations: A Doctor’s View Into Humanitarian Aid

Guest Poster: J Chan. She captures quite nicely the frustrations of development work:I'm back in Mozambique again, now in the 2nd largest city in the country- Beira. It's nice to be back in Mozambique and the 30hr plane rides are getting more monotonous. I hope to spend a little bit more time checking out the towns along the way while I'm working.I'm here for the 2nd phase of another project. We were able to get the lay of the land of the flood situation back in May and now we are back to perform a more rigorous assessment of the water and sanitation activities in the resettlement camps (like refugee camps in some ways) by the Zambezi River. We will try to link this information with the risk for cholera outbreaks to help the project guide … [Read more...]

Dysfunctional Programme Management

Calling in overwhelmed today ... these are generally about the software industry, but applies to any field where you have to work in a team! Asshole Driven development (ADD) - Any team where the biggest jerk makes all the big decisions is asshole driven development. All wisdom, logic or process goes out the window when Mr. Asshole is in the room, doing whatever idiotic, selfish thing he thinks is best. There may rules and processes, but Mr. A breaks them and people follow anyway. Cognitive Dissonance development (CDD) - In any organization where there are two or more divergent beliefs on how software should be made. The tension between those beliefs, as it’s fought out in various meetings and individual decisions by players on both … [Read more...]