USAID

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.

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:

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