Foreign Aid: Cute new words, same old stuff

mardi 27 octobre 2009 ·

The idea that transfers of funds directly to governments for development purposes has been long ridiculed and renounced even by proponents of foreign aid. They decided to focus on “new” methods like ensuring the creation of “techniques” that solve the easiest and yet costly problems. For example, the cost of high mortality because of malaria infections can be fixed easily with DDT spray of mosquito nests, bed nets and pyrethoids in the residences. However, did that really work?

It was advocated since 1938 under the League of Nations. The only difference is a somewhat fancier use of words to advance the argument. Sometimes, it is just better to let institutions bred techniques and knowledge out of human action, not human design (the exact contrary of foreign aid)

African Problem to be AddressedAfrican Research Survey, 1938UN Millennium Project, 2005
Malaria“mosquito bed-nets …malaria control by the spraying of native huts with a preparation of pyrethrum”“insecticide-treated nets…. insecticides for indoor residual spraying …{with} pyrethroids”
Nutrition“…the African suffers from deficiency of Vitamin A”“Malnutrition {is also} caused by inadequate intake of … vitamin A”
Soil fertility“methods of improving soil fertility {such as} green manuring”“using green manure to improve soil fertility”
Soil erosion“increasing absorption and reducing runoff on cultivated land {through} the use of terraces”“Contour terraces, necessary on sloping lands… when furnished with grasses and trees…{to avoid} soil erosion”
Land tenure“… legal security against attack or disturbance can most effectively be guaranteed by registration”“security in private property and tenure rights … registration of property”
Clean drinking watersinking boreholes“Increase the share of boreholes”

Via William Easterly

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Bryan Breguet est candidat au doctorat en sciences économiques à l’université de Colombie-Britannique. D’origine Suisse, il a passé les cinq dernières années au Québec au cours desquelles il s’est engagé en politique provinciale malgré le fait qu’il ne possédait pas encore la citoyenneté canadienne. Il détient un B.Sc en économie et politique ainsi qu’une maitrise en sciences économiques de l’université de Montréal. Récipiendaire de plusieurs prix d’excellences et bourses, il connaît bien les méthodes quantitatives et leurs applications à la politique.

Vincent Geloso holds a master’s degree in economic history from the London School of Economics, with a focus on business cycles, international development, labor markets in preindustrial Europe and the new institutional economics. His research work examined the economic history of the province of Quebec from 1920 to 1960. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the Université de Montréal. He has also studied in the United States at the Washington Centre for Academic Seminars and Internships. Mr. Geloso has been an intern for the Prime Minister’s cabinet in Ottawa and for the National Post. He has also been the recipient of a fellowship from the Institute for Humane Studies and an international mobility bursary from the Ministère des Relations internationales du Québec. Currently, he is an economist at the Montreal Economic Institute.

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