When Aid is No Help
How projects fail, and how they could succeed
Much development assistance from rich to poor countries has failed to get through to the poorest peoples, the ones in need of assistance. Much official aid has not even tried, but what about the aid projects that have genuinely tried to reach the poorest?
This book shows that despite such attempts, most of the poorest are still losing out – which means that the global aid effort is failing in perhaps its most crucial task: helping the neediest. The book looks closely at projects in Mali, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal and India. It probes the reasons for the failure of well-intentioned projects to try to pinpoint the exact nature of the problem and the implications for policy. The author takes the view that if the lessons are learned from what is going wrong, then aid projects could benefit the poorest. The poorest often lose out in aid projects because they are not aware of their possibilities, and this is where non-governmental organizations can play a role. The official aid effort has the potential to help the poorest – but it needs to change and become more appropriate to their needs. The book suggests what changes are needed and ends with twelve guidelines for aid policymakers.
John Madeley is editor of International Agricultural Development.
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