An interesting article from the Aid Thoughts blog looking at the importance of Dambisa Moyo's book, Dead Aid versus the importance of "Dead Capital" which examines the importance of privately held real estate (or lack of there of) in Africa. Here is an excerpt: "De Soto’s team measured at least $9.3 trillion dollars in dead capital in the third world, certainly an underestimate given that he counted only real estate. The potential value of this dead capital, when unlocked by a national, legitimate formal property system, would be multiplied several times over. By contrast Moyo (and other aid critics) focus centrally on the failure of aid to achieve a result. By various reckonings this is anything between $300 billion and $2 trillion of dead aid – and after a decade of aid-growth regressions it’s clear we have little idea what, if any, multiplicative effect it has."
A short article that is definitely worth reading, here is the whole article - Aid Thoughts; Why is Dead Aid is more important than Dead Capital?
Transparency International shares their Corruptions Perceptions index for 2009. No surprise, the African continent fares the worst.
|We love reporting about developments in the aid and development world. MIT has a relatively new division called J-PAL (Poverty Action Lab). Their mission: "reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is based on scientific evidence." Read all about them in their FAST COMPANY article Which Poverty Fighting Policies Work? Unfortunately, the amount of visitors on their site is negligable, calling into to question some of their reach. Hopefully readers can help promote proactive, reality based poverty fighting.|
Interesting short video that appeared on Frontline World - reporter Benjamin Pauker buys an AK-47 from FDLR Genociders who are now operating in Rwanda. He buys the weapon for $100 and then tracks it back to a Chinese manufacturer. Frontline World video - Congo: On the Trail of an AK-47, China's calling card in Africa
There is a new documentary coming soon, about two Americans who travel to Africa and live on a dollar a day. It is hard to tell from the videos on their website (Give A Damn?) if this will be another documentary that reinforces typical stereotypes of the "white savior trying to help poor, starving Africans" or if they will say something insightful and important. Either way, it sounds like an amazing journey.
William Easterly's blog AIDWATCHERS has a great new article about Bono. Read the whole article on aidwatchers.com
"An expert commission of African leaders today announced their plan for comprehensive reform of music band U2. Saying that U2’s rock had lost touch with its African roots, the commission called for urgent measures to halt U2’s slide towards impending crisis.
“Our youth today are imperiled by low quality music,” said Commission chairman Nelson Mandela. “We will be lending African musicians to U2 to try to refurbish their sound to satisfy the urgent and growing needs for diversionary entertainment at a time of crisis in the global music and financial sectors.”
Concerns about U2 have been growing in Africa for a while. One Western aid blogger testified to the Commission that his teenage kids found U2’s music “cheesy.” The Mandela Commission proposed that U2 follow a series of steps to recover its Edge:
1) Hire African consultants to analyze U2’s “poverty of music trap”
2) Prepare a Band-owned and Commission-approved Comprehensive U2 Reform Strategy Design (CURSD)
3) Undertake a rehabilitation tour of African capitals to field-test and ground-truth proposed reforms
Read the rest on aidwatchers.com
The Beyond Good Intentions film series follows the round-the-world journey of first-time filmmaker, Tori Hogan, as she investigates how international aid can be more effective. Watch the series here!
Episodes include investigations of Disaster Relief, Aid workers, peace Corps, Faith-Based Aid, and Mirco-Lending. Tell us what you think