07 July 2009

UK aid

DFID becomes UK Aid? Really?

As Lant Pritchett says about USAID
"The name of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is too clever by half. By forming the acronym "aid" it attempts to create popularity (who could be against "aid" broadly interpreted as "assistance" to the world's poorest?) at the expense of perhaps confusing everyone, including itself, about its actual mission."
TH wonders if this is the largest academic-inspired aid programme ever. I'm not so sure, as Keynes or somebody said, men of action are always slaves to some dead man of ideas.

Anyway more substantively, I do like the Collier-esque reorientation of spending towards security. You really notice the importance of security in places like Sudan. Why would anyone bother invest in the future when all hell might break loose at any moment? So yeah, lets spend more on security. But the Tories, they're bat-shit crazy "£9.1bn of overseas aid on funding for private schools"??? If the private sector is so awesome why does it need such huge subsidies? Wouldn't that destroy all their competitive cost-pressures which makes them so efficient in the first place? Obviously, what you want to do is subsidise the kids. Which is why I am interested by their voucher idea, even though my friend Alan ridicules it
"vouchers! why didn't anyone think of that before? 
then they can pop down to the local sainsburys and exchange those vouchers for essentials! lets sign them up for Nectar cards while we're at it! gosh - aren't these poor people lucky!"

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And finally

1. Free SOAS cleaners - "the man", picking on the little guy
2. And I love the dutch

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