Assessing Aid: What Works, what Doesn't, and why

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World Bank Publications, 1998 - Political Science - 148 pages
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In different times and places, foreign aid has been highly effective, totally ineffective, and everything in between. It assisted growth in the Republic of Korea and Botswana in the 1960s, Bolivia and Ghana in the late 1980s, and Uganda and Vietnam in the 1990s. It still plays a critical role in supporting institutional and policy reform in developing countries, which is crucial for alleviating poverty. However, foreign aid has also failed spectacularly. Incompetence, corruption, and misguided policies persisted for many years in the former Zaire, for example, where there was a steady flow of aid. And in Tanzania, despite $2 billion in aid over twenty years, lack of provision for maintaining roads meant the roads often deteriorated faster than they could be built.'Assessing Aid' includes important research such as: analyzing aid's nonfinancial role its impact as a transfer of technology or ideas; investigating how foreign aid is declining sharply at a time when reforms in developing countries have made it most effective; examining whether foreign aid is 'fungible'; documenting that effective assistance demands that donors be selective, innovative, coordinated, and self-critical; examining the overall effect of assistance on the countries' per capita income growth. Foreign aid has proved to be effective in increasing the rate of growth, reducing the poverty level, and lowering infant mortality rates in many countries. Yet more than 1 billion people still live in extreme poverty on less than $1 per day. Properly managed foreign aid can make a big contribution to improving the lives of millions. 'Assessing Aid' sets the pace for improving the effectiveness of foreign aid in promoting growth and reducing poverty worldwide.
  

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Contents

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Page 31 - The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else.
Page 13 - ... barriers to the effective working of markets) and which cannot. We need to identify which market failures can be ameliorated through nonmarket institutions (with perhaps the government taking an instrumental role in establishing these nonmarket institutions). We need to recognize both the limits and strengths of markets, as well as the strengths, and limits, of government interventions aimed at correcting market failures', (Stiglitz (1989), p.
Page 120 - Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.
Page 14 - ... by 2015. Access through the primary health care system to reproductive health services for all individuals of appropriate ages as soon as possible and no later than the year 2015.
Page 53 - Two, the government begins to misbehave, backtracking on economic reform and behaving in an authoritarian manner. Three, a new meeting of donor countries looms with exasperated foreign governments preparing their sharp rebukes. Four, Kenya pulls a placatory rabbit out of the hat. Five, the donors are mollified and aid is pledged. The whole dance then starts again
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Page 21 - Conditional lending is worthwhile where reforms have serious domestic support' and, in particular, that it 'still has a role -to allow government to commit to reform and to signal the seriousness of reform- but to be effective in this it must focus on a small number of truly important measures'.
Page 5 - ... quality of policies and institutions is the key to securing a large return from this financing. The knowledge creation supported by aid leads to improvements in particular sectors, whereas the finance part of aid expands public services in general. An active civil society improves public services. The best aid projects support initiatives that change the way the public sector does business. The top-down, technocratic approach to project design and service delivery has not worked in areas...
Page 53 - Two, the government begins to misbehave, back-tracking on reform and behaving in an authoritarian manner. Three, a new meeting of donor countries looms with exasperated foreign governments preparing their sharp rebukes. Four, Kenya pulls a placatory rabbit out of the hat. Five, the donors are mollified and the aid is pledged. The whole dance starts again.
Page 13 - Making progress towards equality of the sexes and the empowerment of women by eliminating disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005. Reducing...

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The World Bank Group is a group of five international organizations responsible for providing finance and advice to countries for the purposes of economic development and poverty reduction, and for encouraging and safeguarding international investment. The group and its affiliates have their headquarters in Washington, D.C., with local offices in 124 member countries.

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