“…allowing organizations to attract support without having to demonstrate superior functionality”

Lant Pritchard writing in Harvard’s Building State Capacity blog draws some useful lessons on how US democratic institutions were forced to prove themselves in a struggle with the independent interests of their people. He offers these insights into why the transfer of institutions in developing countries not only may not work, it might also have profoundly negative consequences: One, organizations could gain legitimacy simply from mimicking the forms of rich country organizations without their function. Sociologists of organizations call this … Read more

‘#G8 development dividend in the balance’ – 5 issues to watch

This is a guest post from Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Director Kevin Watkins Effective action at the G8 summit could see Africa reap a ‘development dividend’ that boosts poverty reduction and sets the region on a course for more self-reliant growth, according to the Director of the UK’s leading development think tank. The ODI has described Lough Erne as a ‘high stakes’ summit for the world’s poor. ODI Director Kevin Watkins said that more stringent rules on tax evasion could prevent the … Read more

The Failings of Global Aid- is it Time to Make Charity History?

Walking by a lake you see a child drowning. There is no one else around- what should you do? The clear moral answer is to jump in and pull the child out without sparing a thought for potential inconvenience. It has long been argued that the same moral reasoning applies to world poverty- we must intervene to help the world’s poorest. The widely held view is that this help should be aid.  But does sending aid make the difference it … Read more