USAID

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.

Lant Pritchett on What Obama Got Right About Development

by Lant Pritchett, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Obama’s speech at the MDG conference and the announced US Global Development Policy are the result of long preparation and internal discussions within the administration as part of the Presidential Study Directive, lead out of the NSC, announced a year ago, and the QDDR, prepared by State, both processes having been watched over by the Washington think tanks and advocacy groups.

Lessons after the Meles speech at Columbia: Let Ethiopians debate Ethiopia

It’s sure was nice to see mainly Ethiopians vigorously participating in a debate about Ethiopia, in contrast to the usual Old White Men debating Africa. The Meles visit to Columbia had the unintentional effect of promoting this debate.  We were very happy at Aid Watch to have had the privilege of turning over our  little corner of the web to host some of this debate, and then just get out of the way.
Here’s more in the aftermath of the Meles speech:
Africa Didn’t Ask You (honestly):

New School Thoughts on Africa:

David, Ban, Bill, and Alice

The always wonderful David Rieff takes on the MDG summit:
With the fatuousness that has marked his administration from the outset, the U.N. secretary general, Ban Ki Moon, has now issued a document called “Keeping the Promise,” timed to coincide with the 2010 meeting of the U.N. General Assembly and the summit on the organization’s so-called Millennium Development Goals that is taking place simultaneously.

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

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