Wednesday, 22 November 2000

From "Why Doesn't Aid Work?"

By William Easterly.

Aid agencies can be held accountable for specific tasks, rather than the weak incentives that follow from collective responsibility of all aid agencies and recipient governments for those broad goals that depend on many other things besides aid agency effort. Examples of the latter include such unaccountable goals as the very fashionable campaign to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals, or the sweeping goals of economic growth, government reform, and democracy for poor countries mentioned above. If a bureaucracy shares responsibilities with other agencies to achieve many different general goals that depend on many other things, then it is not accountable to its intended beneficiaries—the poor.

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