“Our time to change is now, and our time to change is short,” was the message that the new USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah delivered to a Town Hall meeting of the US Global Leadership coalition on May 5th this year. To sustain the commitment to spend billions of federal dollars on aid, he was warning, […]
Tag: Bill Easterly
Raj Shah’s Opportunity
So the long wait for Barack Obama to nominate America’s international development czar is over. Congratulations to Raj Shah, who should breeze through the confirmation process to become head of US AID, having already been approved for his current post in the Department of Agriculture. Shah, who is just 36, takes on this crucial job […]
Holidays in the Sun?
“Cheap holidays….in other peoples’ misery!” screams Johnny Rotten at the start of the Sex Pistols song Holidays in the Sun. Aid sceptic Bill Easterly seems to think that the Millennium Villages project, the brainchild of his sparring partner and aid champion Jeffrey Sachs, has gone beyond the pale by apparently taking the Sex Pistols’ message to […]
Why Bother Saving a Life?
We should all be giving away at least 5% of our income and the rich should hand over up to a third, argues philosopher Peter Singer in his new book The Life You Can Save, that came out last week. While we don’t share Singer’s rather puritanical disapproval of the lavish lifestyles of the super-wealthy – he […]
Bill Gates unleashed mosquitoes on the trendy techies gathered at the TED conference last week to highlight the dangers of malaria. But is he also unleashing dangerously misleading data about the deadly disease? Yes, according to an interesting post from aid sceptic Bill Easterly (author of White Man’s Burden) on his new blog, Aid Watch. (Thanks […]
Watching the economists
We talked to Bill Easterly today – author of The White Man’s Burden and leading sceptic about aid to poor countries. Easterly’s main argument is that top down aid processes don’t work, whereas bottom up processes driven by people on the ground have a much better chance of succeeding. Hence his scepticism about grand strategies like […]