USAID

Diary of a serial summit attendee

One week. Two development summits. Hundreds of heads of state, development luminaries, CEOs, and social entrepreneurs. Celebrity star power. No poor people. Aid Watch spent three days trying to make sense of the greatest show on earth to help the world’s lowest.
TUESDAY

Allow me to introduce the world’s latest aid skeptic: Barack Obama

if the international community just keeps doing the same things the same way, we will miss many development goals.
For too long, we’ve measured our efforts by the dollars we spent … But aid alone is not development.

 Our focus on assistance has saved lives in the short term, but it hasn’t always improved those societies over the long term. Consider the millions of people who have relied on food assistance for decades. That’s not development, that’s dependence….

let’s move beyond the old, narrow debate over how much money we’re spending and let’s instead focus on results-whether we’re actually making improvements in people’s lives

What Hillary’s cookstoves need to succeed

This post was written by Alanna Shaikh. Alanna is a global health professional who blogs at UN Dispatch and Blood and Milk.
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton announced a new $60 million initiative to help 100 million households adopt clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership that includes the US State Department, the UN Foundation, the World Food Program, Royal Dutch Shell, the World Health Organization, and the US Environmental Protection Agency, among others.

Positives are popular, skeptics are digital

My print copy of today’s Financial Times had this at the bottom of the oped page.

The Millennium Development What?

This is a joint post written with Claudia Williamson, a post-doctoral fellow at DRI.
If you’re reading this blog, and especially if you’re in New York City right now, you’re probably familiar with the Millennium Development Goals. Besides being the focus of this week’s United Nations summit, they are just (according to the UN) “the most broadly supported, comprehensive, and specific development goals” in human history. Should we fail to meet them by 2015, (according to Oxfam) “we are likely to witness the greatest collective failure in history.”

Heated debate with John McArthur on MDGs and accountability

In 2000, nearly every country in the world made a promise to achieve a set of eight goals, including poverty reduction, women’s empowerment and universal primary education by 2015. How far have we gotten? Host Michel Martin speaks with two opposing voices about the progress made this far: John McArthur, CEO of Millennium Promise, and William Easterly, professor of economics at New York University.
Listen to the interview on NPR’s Tell Me More. Once in the media player, the segment is called “UN Convenes to Assess Global Progress”- it’s 12 minutes long.

The Millennium Development Goal that really does work has been forgotten

UPDATE 12 noon: this  is a dueling oped with Sachs on ft.com, debate has moved on and even some agreement (see end of post) from a column in the on-line Financial Times today ; for ungated access and a picture of the handsome author go here.

Speaking at 12:15pm today at Stand Up NYC for MDGs

at Lincoln Center outdoors. Please come and join the other 5 people listening.

Cry the Beloved Country: Ethiopians Criticize Columbia for Hosting Meles

UPDATE Sept 19, 8:30am (see end of post)
I have been getting a lot of email from Ethiopian-Americans who are very upset that Columbia University has invited Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to speak this coming Wednesday, like this one:
Most of the professors who come across him, in most cases are neutralized or transformed as his advocates. So far, you are the only one standing clear, so the Ethiopian people need one intellectual friend like you to make their case. Please don’t be afraid and help our people and speak up.

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