Wednesday, 1 December 1999

From "Debating foreign aid: right versus left"

By Jean-Philippe Thérien (Third World Quarterly, Vol 23, No 3, 2002, p. 455).

The 1970s were also a time when the past results of assistance were methodically re-evaluated. A consensus was reached around the idea that Third World development posed a challenge incomparably greater than the reconstruction of Europe after the Second World War. In addition, it was recognised that the trickle-down process predicted by the theory of modernisation had not materialised, and that only an elite had profited from the initial phase of foreign aid. This critical reappraisal paved the way for a new approach towards aid: the basic needs strategy. The work of Hollis Chenery and Paul Streeten, both associated with the World Bank, contributed mightily to this intellectual revolution. The former emphasised the need to reconcile the objectives of growth and social [...] The latter drew attention to the notion that development assistance should concentrate 'on the nature of what is provided rather than on income' [...]

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