Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another big bag of development

 Haddad argues that agricultural development could help spur and push Ethiopia's high growth rates into the future, but only if done right. He recommends growth-diagnostic-like tools to identify where the bottlenecks are by agroecological zone. Different reports come to different conclusions about the extent to which government money is spent for political purposes rather than development. Government officials appeared to be knowledgeable about the problems of fast growth and to be asking good questions.

Aid Thoughts is concerned about DfiD's new plan to democratize aid by letting people vote on where the money goes. He argues that "This kind of approach will just increase the skew of development financing away from the economy and towards social development, and reduce the use of General Budget Support, the option that most respects the idea of country ownership of the development process. Still, it’s a consultation, so whether you agree with me or not, let them know."

Tales from the Hood ends its series pondering what we've learned about development in Haiti this year by proposing what it has taught about the kind of transparency initiatives that need to happen: "We’ve let our ordinary citizen supporters believe that we can and will solve any problem – from rubble-removal to general world poverty. But one year later, it is painfully obvious in Haiti at least that we can’t. And they’re mad." Being more honest about the difficulty of aid has long been one of their regular themes.

Lots more below the fold.

A survey of over 1000 (respondent) NGOs from developing countries about their developed country partners indicated that "they valued/needed more of the following support:
* Non-Financial Support: Facilitation in the accessing of other sources of funds
* Monitoring and Reporting: The need for Northern NGOs to share lessons and experiences with them when working on the same issues
* Relationships: Develop joint strategies with us"
A less-statistically-relevant sampling of people living in Millennium Villages would like more voice in the project: “The MV has to meet with local community to learn more about what people really want because sometimes the MV brings things that the community doesn’t need or want. People may have good ideas.”

Africa in the US: pre-separation Sudan has the GDP of Idaho, Nigeria produces as much as Alabama, and Angola is as rich as New Mexico.

Could we significantly increase private charitable donations by reducing the transaction costs of doing so - in particular the monetary costs of providing funds?

A piece against World Heritage sites for locking in low development.

Another piece against donor organizations being tax-free in the countries where they are supposedly working to improve governance.

The evidence that IMF spending on health hurts development outcomes is a touch overstated. "Newspapers will forever keep making causal conclusions from studies which can’t make the same claims, we need to call them out when they do so."

News of an upcoming Charter City is also a bit more marketing than Charter. Aid Thoughts asks some good questions on behalf of the Honduranians: "If this is just a city with better laws and enforcement managed by the Honduran Government, I think the rest of the Honduras can easily argue: why don’t we get the better laws and enforcement? Why are they being restricted to this city?"

Aid is a religion.

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