Foreign aid is now a $100bn business and is expanding more rapidly today than it has for a generation. But does it work? Indeed, is it needed at all?
Other attempts to answer this important question have been dominated by a focus on the impact of official aid provided by governments. But today possibly as much as 30 percent of aid is provided by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and over 10 percent is provided as emergency assistance.
In this first-ever attempt to provide an overall assessment of aid, Roger Riddell presents a rigorous but highly readable account of aid, warts and all. Does Foreign Aid Really Work? sets out the evidence and exposes the instances where aid has failed and explains why. The book also examines the way that politics distorts aid, and disentangles the moral and ethical assumptions that lie behind the belief that aid does good. The book concludes by detailing the practical ways that aid needs to change if it is to be the effective force for good that its providers claim it is.
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With degrees in economics, development studies and theology, Roger Riddell has been actively involved in development for more than 30 years. He has worked for developing country governments, for the private sector and for NGOs, and undertaken work for more than 10 leading bilateral and multilateral aid agencies and international institutions. He spent almost 15 years as a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute in London. From 1999 to 2004, he was the International Director of Christian Aid, one of the UK's largest relief and development NGOs. Among his numerous publications, he has written two previous books on foreign aid, including (in 1987) Foreign Aid Reconsidered, widely acclaimed as a leading text on aid and development. Following its Independence in 1980, Mr. Riddell was the Chair of the first Presidential Economic Commission in Zimbabwe.
"Roger Riddell's text provides the single best introduction to the history and range of contemporary debates associated with foreign aid, including the rise of international NGOs as major actors and the centrality of domestic politics to shaping aid practice."--Foreign Affairs
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