Is aid a blessing or a curse for developing countries? For Imran Khan, a former cricketer turned politician, the answer for his country, Pakistan, is clear. “If we don’t have aid we will be forced to make reforms and stand on our own feet,” he told the BBC recently. This was a message that he […]
The People’s Aid
Back in the day, before Britain was run by the David Cameron-led coalition, many of us assumed that, under the weight of the public spending axe, a Conservative government would wriggle out of its commitment to keep upping the UK government’s aid budget to 0.7% of national income. It seemed like a no-brainer that increasing spending […]
What Is Commitment?
Britain’s coalition government will soon announce the results of its Comprehensive Spending Review, which is short-hand for a massive swathe of cuts in public spending. Though the axe will be swung with vigour, it is believed that David Cameron’s government will stick to an election pledge not only to protect the international aid budget but to continue ratcheting […]
The End of Aid’s Golden Age?
As rock star and aid champion Bono lies prone in his sick bed with a back injury that has forced him to cancel his forthcoming festival appearances with his band U2, he will be wondering not just about how to spend his summer but what to do next in his campaign for more aid for the developing world. While he can […]
Is Michael Edwards Wearing Any Clothes?
Our old sparring partner Michael Edwards has been banging the drum against philanthrocapitalism again. We actually agree on more than Michael admits – particularly that philanthrocapitalism needs transparency and accountability to succeed. And he is willing to give some grudging credit to Bill Gates for his recent pledge of $10 billion to develop vaccines against […]
We’ll Always Have Paris?
Building a real partnership between donor and recipient countries based on better planning has been one of the big ideas in aid in recent years, set out in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Paris Declaration of 2005. The growing importance of philanthrocapitalists in development troubles some people, who fear that a flurry of new actors […]
Celanthropy the Geldof Way
“Futility” was aid champion “Sir” Bob Geldof’s verdict on what he had achieved nearly a quarter of a century after the former Boomtown Rats vocalist organised the Band Aid song that mobilised a massive public campaign to help the starving people of Ethiopia. Geldof was speaking on a panel moderated by Michael at Forum 2000, […]
When Aid Shrinks
Can government aid budgets survive the financial crisis and, if not, what next for the billion people living in poverty? Michael spoke at a couple of fringe events at the British Labour Party’s annual conference in Brighton this week. Beleagured Prime Minister Gordon Brown used his main speech to make a raft of spending commitments, […]