Sachsy development

SanneBlauwBy: Sanne Blauw*

The logic is irresistible: if we send enough money to developing countries, poverty will be put to an end once and for all. We have got to help, it’s our responsibility. In the book The Idealist, Nina Munk portrays the charismatic Jeffrey Sachs and his Millennium Villages in Africa. How good intentions can have destructive consequences.

Already at a young age Jeffrey Sachs (1954) stood out: he received high grades in school, won math competitions, and displayed leadership qualities. He was already a successful economist when the Bolivian president Victor Paz invited him to help Bolivia in the mid-eighties. The country was poor and the economy was in chaos. Inflation reached 25,000%. Sachs wrote a plan for economic recovery. The strict fiscal and monetary policies caused hundreds of thousands of people to lose their job or pension. But the “shock therapy” helped: inflation fell to 15%. As it turned out: the economy is controllable, as long as you are willing to make concessions.

Read More »

Why is it important to cooperate with Middle Income Countries?

Cecilia JuambeltzBy Cecilia Juambeltz*

In the field of international cooperation, particularly in development cooperation, much is said of High, Middle and Low Income Countries. This characterization may only seem as a way of ordering these countries. But in practice it has important consequences, as it defines the type of aid these countries receive. Donor countries base on these categories to define their aid strategies.

Read More »

Beer, carbon capture, and three other fascinating uses for Bamboo

Tracey LiBamboo is a type of grass with over 1,000 species that vary enormously in their size and preferred growing conditions. Thus, bamboo is found in several diverse locations around the world: native species exist in countries in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia. In many of these places, using bamboo for a wide variety of purposes is part of the culture. For example, in China, large bamboo stems are used as scaffolding, bamboo shoots are preserved or cooked in various ways and then eaten, and small stems are used to make flute-like musical instruments. And bamboo has many more fascinating uses besides these: Read More »

Morales Orders USAID Out of Bolivia

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was today ordered to leave Bolivia. According to the British Broadcasting Association (BBC), President Evo Morales accused the agency of ‘seeking to “conspire against” the Bolivian people and his government.’

USAID has been working in the country for over fifty years and has a current spending budget of around US$50 million. Here is some of the media features of the story and its analysis:

En Español:

El Universo: Bolivia Expulsa a la USAID

AVN: Presidente de Bolivia expulsa a la USAID de su país Read More »

Psychology of Giving: Why Aid Might Be Causing More Harm Than Good

Take up the White Man’s burden—

Send forth the best ye breed—

Go send your sons to exile

To serve your captives’ need

To wait in heavy harness

On fluttered folk and wild—

Your new-caught, sullen peoples,

Half devil and half child.

(First stanza of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The White Man’s Burden”, 1899) Read More »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: