How useful is your aid?

October 8 2010

I missed this when it first appeared a couple of days ago, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Foreign Policy is carrying a story about a report which suggests that the U.S. ranks low on effectiveness of foreign aid. The report is from the Centre for Global Development, which looked at the impact per dollar  of aid programs from 23 countries.

I read this and think of the attitude one US aid worker showed in front of the Guardian’s Peter Beaumont in Haiti earlier this year, and wonder if there’s some correlation there. USAID doesn’t have the same reputation for engaging with real, on the ground poor people as some other agencies.

Admittedly the guy in question worked for Sean Penn, not USAID, but is his patronising attitude at all typical?

Still, the authors of the report say things are getting better and the Obama administration is upping the game considerably in terms of adopting a results based approach. Probably not going to win many votes over the coming months though.

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