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USAID

Government warns against global travel and/or staying at home

UPDATE 1PM: let’s be fair to our beleagured security officials (see end of post)
The NYT correctly mocks the new US government travel alert:
Where is the threat? Europe. What is the target? Subways, railways, aircraft, ships or any “tourist infrastructure.”
The government’s cluelessness is even more breathtaking once we include two simple truths about risk:
(1) a warning covering an extremely broad area implies the risk in any one location is very low.

Development: Say it with flowers

Cut flower exports get a lot of development buzz. I’ll make this into a bleg for anybody who can contribute some systematic knowledge on this.

Osama Bin Laden, aid expert

From the New York Times:
We are in need of a big change in the method of relief work because the number of victims is great due to climate changes in modern times

We interrupt this diatribe for a brief kindly announcement

There’s been a lot to get outraged about on Aid Watch this week. World Bank leader calls for democratizing research while censoring research. USAID and NGOs urge transparency while egregiously non-transparent. Critics criticize our criticism of FAO hunger numbers that turn out to be even worse than we first suggested.
Our strongest supporters correctly point out that excessively bland and polite statements have little effect on the debate compared to outrage, and outrage is often justified.

TransparencyGate: the end of the road

by Till Bruckner, PhD candidate at the University of Bristol and former Transparency International Georgia aid monitoring coordinator.

“Proofiness:” trashing back on FAO hunger numbers

Just before the big UN meetings here in New York around the Millennium Development Goals, the FAO released new world hunger numbers, and Aid Watch listed reasons to worry that these numbers were “made up.”
A blog post from Oxfam GB’s Duncan Green called our post “lazy and supercilious,” with the amusing headline “Easterly trashed.”  The accusation that I am “lazy” struck a raw nerve, and so I have responded forcefully by asking Laura to do more work.

World Bank President starts brawl about development economics research

UPDATE 4:30 PM, Sept 30 — debating Ravallion about World Bank censorship (see end of post)
World Bank President Robert Zoellick gave a speech at Georgetown University today calling for the “democratizing” of development research.  Bob Davis at The Wall Street Journal reports some reactions:

Brain circulation not brain drain

Courtesy/WorldFocus.org (from video)

NYU economist Yaw Nyarko discusses his work on the so-called African brain drain with World Vision Report. Click here to listen to the interview (12 minutes).

InterAction’s statement on NGO accountability

Editor’s note: Aid Watch asked InterAction for a contribution to the debate originally sparked by Till Bruckner’s post The accidental NGO and USAID transparency test. See below for a list of all related posts.
Statement from Barbara J. Wallace, InterAction’s Vice President of Membership and Standards, on NGO Accountability

Return to TransparencyGate: Humanitarian Accountability Partnership weighs in

Editor’s note: Aid Watch asked HAP for a contribution to the debate originally sparked by Till Bruckner’s post The accidental NGO and USAID transparency test. See below for a list of all related posts.
The HAP (Humanitarian Accountability Partnership) Secretariat is encouraged that issues of NGO accountability are being discussed in fora such as this, and in particular that the debate is now going beyond the sector.

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