The Best Aid is Not Dollars but Ideas — Top Aid Worker
|December 28, 2013||Posted by Staff under Good Press|
Daniel Runde, aid worker at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), asked donor countries to shift their focus away from alleviating poverty and concentrate on helping developing countries reach a position from which they can end poverty and deliver social goods for themselves.
Economists Francois Bourguingon and Stefan Dercon found a significant relationship between economic growth and people who live on less than a dollar a day, but they found no little or no correlation between growth and any one of the non-income Millennium Development Goals, such as child nutrition, girls’ education, or the number of children in school.
“So the role of assistance and expertise is going to change,” Runde said. “It’s not going to be about the most money on the table but about the best ideas, the best solution to a problem.”
The help that is needed now, Runde thinks, is in the fields of economic growth and governance. At the moment, these areas receive a very small part of the aid budget from his own country, the US. What little money is available for growth and governance goes largely to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Going forward, Runde says there should be more focus on issues such as tax collection, commercial law, contract enforcement, and secure land tenure. These ideas were greeted politely at the London meeting, but with considerable reservations by many attendees.
Ed. Notes: Given that land tenure and taxation (or community dues) are so important, the best help the North could give the South is the power of a good example. The North could lead the way by following the dictum “pay dues for what you take, not taxes on what you make.” The dictum to follow regarding property in land is to: claim publicly, occupy privately, pay rent neighborly (as they’ll pay you), and use sparingly. If the North were to adopt these powerful reforms, the South would not be far behind. Then the whole planet could enjoy prosperity, and sustainable prosperity at that.