(March 31, 2010) All past international efforts to turn Haiti into a functioning democracy have failed. There are better ways forward.
(March 30, 2010) Haiti and its donors need to face up to bad governance and failed aid. They need to develop a strategy against corruption. This means more than controls and audits, more than training and technical assistance, needed though they are. We must ask how the design and implementation of Haiti’s reconstruction and development strategy might address what public administration experts Derick Brinkerhoff and Carmen Halpern called the sanctioned plunder that was and remains the core of Haitian politics.
(March 5, 2010) Interview with Dambisa Moyo from The New Statesman.com.
(March 3, 2010) Criticism of the high salaries being offered to contractors working with AusAID, Austrialia’s national aid agency, is the latest example of the increased scrutiny facing aid agencies around the world. The criticism comes after a recent audit showed that a number of aid workers are earning more money than the country’s Prime Minister. And they’re doing so tax-free.
(March 2, 2010) As calls for a “Marshall Plan for Haiti” continue to make headlines, an increasing number of reports are beginning to ask: is aid the answer? A recent report from PBS interviews a number of aid supporters and critics, asking them if a massive aid program to Haiti is the best option.
(March 1, 2010) Soaring Chinese investment in Africa has placed the international aid community on high alert. While policymakers around the world debate whether China’s no-strings-attached approach to African investment is good for the continent’s economic development, many onlookers have failed to ask: how do Africans feel about it? A recent poll, "How do Africans see China after all?" by academic Loro Horta, suggests opinion is strongly divided.
(February 28, 2010) Ecuador’s strategic default on some of its external debt last year has drawn much commentary and generated passionate reactions. Some commentators who advocate creating a mechanism for addressing odious or illegitimate debt encouraged Ecuador to repudiate its obligations and have generally applauded its decision to do so. For those who are sympathetic to efforts to create such a mechanism, however, this enthusiasm may be misplaced.
(February 22, 2010) Aid makes governments unaccountable to their own people – with devastating results.
The joy of doing business In Africa: How corrupt Senegalese politicians tried to shake down Millicom for $200 million
(February 5, 2010) Corruption in Senegal is more than a risk to private investors like Millicom, it’s a risk to taxpayers, too. More than half a billion dollars in U.S. development assistance is going to Senegal over the next five years on the assumption of good governance.
(February 5, 2010) Africa’s fight against corruption is being blocked by gangsters at every level of administrations and the campaign is doomed to fail unless presidents themselves spearhead the battle, a top campaigner said.
(February 2, 2010) In a recent piece for Foreign Policy, Gerard Russell, a former British and U.N. diplomat and now a Fellow of Harvard’s Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy, looks at the disturbing effect foreign aid is having on Afghanistan. With over half of the country’s licit economy supplied by foreigners, Russell says—referencing Dambisa Moyo’s book "Dead Aid all too often "foreign aid undermines society, encourages rentier behaviour, siphons off talent, reduces pressure for reform, and undermines democracy. Does this sound familiar, Afghanistan-watchers?
(January 19, 2010) For Haiti, just about every conceivable aid scheme beyond immediate humanitarian relief will lead to more poverty, more corruption and less institutional capacity, says Bret Stephens, writing in the Wall Street Journal. After the immediate impact of the earthquake has passed, and the immediate relief efforts subside, “the arrival of the soldiers of do-goodness, each with his brilliant plan to save Haitians from themselves” will take root.
(January 16, 2010) Aid is an unmitigated, political and humanitarian disaster, declares Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo, in her book, "Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa." Hers is such a "tough love" prescription that the author has had to dodge a punch in Toronto, Canada, and has had tomatoes thrown at her elsewhere.
(January 6, 2010) Kenyan taxpayers should not have to repay the odious debts incurred by post-independence governments that borrowed money in their name but used the funds to terrorize citizens or were involved with corruption-tainted deals such as Anglo Leasing, writes prominent author Okiya Omtatah Okoiti in a recent op-ed. Using limited funds collected through taxation to repay odious debts incurred by the colonial, Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki administrations, he writes, must come to an end.
(January 5, 2010) Research organization Ibon Foundation is urging candidates in the upcoming presidential election to make public their stand on the repeal of automatic debt servicing; cancellation of odious debt; increased allocation and spending for health, education, and housing; and reversing trade liberalization, improving collection efficiency, and addressing bureaucratic corruption and wastage to raise badly needed revenues instead of imposing new taxes such as the tax on text messaging.