Waylaid Dialectic

June 10, 2010

Saving the world: one dollar at a time…

Filed under: Aid — terence @ 9:08 pm
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Meanwhile, back home, the man in charge has a press release:

“Every dollar spent on aid bureaucracy is a dollar less for projects to help the poor in the developing world,” Mr McCully said.

Setting aside the fact that he’s actually talking about cutting funding to an umbrella NGO not bureaucrats (and that you’d kind of hope a Minister might know the difference between the two) his argument here is a classic example of the fallacy of low overheads.

It’s true that a dollar spent on aid bureaucracy is a dollar you don’t spend in the field. But we’re not talking about throwing money from helicopters here, we’re talking about trying to give aid successfully. And that takes time and staff. And bureaucrats. And if you simply think that by cutting these things you can improve your aid programme. You. Are. Deluding. Yourself.

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1 Comment

  1. […] fallacy of low overheads is perennial and nearly universal amongst people who’ve never worked in aid. Evaluation-mania […]

    Pingback by In the World of Aid, where pendulums can only ever swing too far… « Waylaid Dialectic — November 16, 2010 @ 11:50 am


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