Does foreign aid really work?
I have worked on aid and development issues for some 40 years, and have tried to engage as a ‘critical friend’ of aid, perhaps–inevitably–drawing fire from both aid’s supporters and critics.
I am particularly concerned that the priority given to short-term, tangible and measurable results has meant paying less attention to using aid to help address long-term development problems.
So does foreign aid really work? Not as well as it could, and not as well as it should. But against often far too high expectations of what it might achieve, much aid has had a positive impact.
Donors need to learn and do more to address some of the systemic problems that aid risks creating or perpetuating, and which they have only recently begun to start more fully appreciating.