A couple of years ago, former PSD blogger Tim Harford and co-author Michael Klein argued for more market-like mechanisms in the aid industry in The Market for Aid. A new working paper by Owen Barder (Beyond Planning: Markets & Networks for Better Aid) picks up where Tim and Michael left off. Owen argues that aid agencies are stuck between a rock (donor
Geoff Dyer explores the idea of using China's massive foreign exchange reserves to form an investment vehicle for emerging markets. He has assembled a series of proposals from leading Chinese thinkers, including some from within the government.
Does too much aid lead countries to become aid dependent? Clearly this is a possibility, and one that some aid critics believe is an inevitability. But I wouldn't say that aid is necessarily habit forming. The key issue is whether the aid is sustainable—in other words, whether the recipient country is taking the necessary steps to wean itself off aid over the longer term.
I just recently finished reading James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds, and I've been thinking a lot about how prediction markets could be mainstreamed into the work of development institutions.
Any social media evangelist surely knows the objection all too well: you try to make the case for Web 2.0 and the power of conversations that it enables when someone inevitably comes up with "conversations are all very well, but what about real work? And real impacts?"
Dambisa Moyo is a formidable critic - this much I learned from her presentation at the World Bank earlier this week. Moyo is the author of