Waylaid Dialectic

March 19, 2013

Aid and Human Rights

Filed under: Aid — terence @ 7:17 am

When aid and human rights are discussed in the same breath it usually involves lamentations about the fact that we give aid to countries with poor human rights records. The idea that aid, if genuinely given, could lead to improvements in human rights is rarely acknowledged. Yet a recent study from researchers at Yale university provides some intriguing results, from an ingenious research design, to suggest that aid can help, although it’s legacy seems to last little longer than the aid itself. Some people might dismiss this on the fact that the improvements involved aren’t sustainable. I’m not so sure. A win is a win I think, and if it only lasts as long as we keep giving the aid…oh well, we’ve been giving aid for decades now, and will likely be doing so for an equally long period to come. More than enough time for millions of people’s lives to flourish in the presence of improved rights. Give aid. Give aid well. It can help.

I discuss the study in more detail in this post at Dev-Policy.

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