Waylaid Dialectic

September 27, 2010

Fixed That For You

Filed under: Aid — terence @ 3:25 pm
Tags: , ,

I actually agree with the substantive point Lant Prtichett is making here (development is difficult, we don’t yet have a great handle on what really works). However the example he chooses to illustrate this point really doesn’t fit. Pritchett:

The fact that the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world has just spent eight years devoting fantastically high level of resources to “develop” Afghanistan (with security as one element of that) with results that range from mixed to shambolic should make it obvious that we need much greater openness within the development community to an approach of structured experimentation–on all fronts.

Reality:

The fact that the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world, governed for most of this time by the neo-cons has just spent eight years devoting fantastically high level of resources, through its notoriously ineffective tangle of aid delivery bodies, for the putative purpose of developing Afghanistan (one of the world’s most fragmented, violent, poor and ungovernable countries, which also happens to be in the middle of several wars) with results that range from mixed to shambolic provides some weak contestable evidence that we need much greater openness within the development community to an approach of structured experimentation. More importantly though, it provides compelling evidence that when a bunch of dangerous, inept, ideologically-driven, chumps invade a country with no real concern for the welfare of its people, and tack on some development stuff as an afterthought, the results are probably going to be depressing.

FTFY Lant.

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