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Academic & Professional Books  Environmental & Social Studies  Economics, Politics & Policy  Aid & North/South Issues

Does Foreign Aid Really Work?

By: Roger Riddell
448 pages
Does Foreign Aid Really Work?
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  • Does Foreign Aid Really Work? ISBN: 9780199544462 Paperback Aug 2008 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
  • Does Foreign Aid Really Work? ISBN: 9780199295654 Hardback Apr 2007 Out of Print #162425
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About this book

Foreign aid is now a $100bn business and is expanding more rapidly today than it has for a generation. But does it work? Indeed, is it needed at all?

Other attempts to answer this important question have been dominated by a focus on the impact of official aid provided by governments. But today possibly as much as 30 percent of aid is provided by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and over 10 percent is provided as emergency assistance.

In this first-ever attempt to provide an overall assessment of aid, Roger Riddell presents a rigorous but highly readable account of aid, warts and all. Does Foreign Aid Really Work? sets out the evidence and exposes the instances where aid has failed and explains why. The book also examines the way that politics distorts aid, and disentangles the moral and ethical assumptions that lie behind the belief that aid does good. The book concludes by detailing the practical ways that aid needs to change if it is to be the effective force for good that its providers claim it is.


1. A Good Thing?; PART I: THE COMPLEX WORLDS OF FOREIGN AID; 2. The Origins and Early Decades of Aid-Giving; 3. Aid-giving from the 1970s to the Present; 4. The Growing Web of Bilateral Aid Donors; 5. The Complexities of Multilateral Aid; PART II: WHY IS AID GIVEN?; 6. The Political and Commercial Dimensions of Aid; 7. Public Support for Aid; 8. Charity or Duty? The Moral Case for Aid; 9. The Moral Case for Governments and Individuals to Provide Aid; PART III: DOES AID REALLY WORK?; 10. Assessing and Measuring the Impact of Aid; 11. The Impact of Official Development Aid Projects; 12. The Impact of Programme Aid, Technical Assistance and Aid for Capacity Development; 13. The Impact of Aid at the Country and Cross-Country Level; 14. Assesing the Impact of Aid Conditionality; 15. Does Official Development Aid Really Work? A Summing Up; 16. NGOs in Development and the Impact of Discrete NGO Development Interventions; 17. The Wider Impact of Non-governmental and Civil Society Organizations; 18. The Growth of Emergencies and the Humanitarian Response; 19. The Impact of Emergency and Humanitarian Aid; PART IV: TOWARDS A DIFFERENT FUTURE FOR AID; 20. Why Aid Isn't Working; 21. Making Aid Work Better by Implementing Agreed Reforms; 22. Making Aid Work Better by Recasting Aid Relationships

Customer Reviews

By: Roger Riddell
448 pages
Media reviews

...[an] excellent and significant book... Alex De Waal, Times Literary Supplement ...everything anyone might want to know about the subject. Nigel Grimwade, Times Higher Education Supplement 'For anyone who wants to know more about development assistance, this is a "must- read". Roger Riddell provides us with a nuanced and honest outline of past and current aid-flows, their complexities, trends and possible impact. Does aid really work? His answer is a conditional, cautious - yes. And he presents some bold proposals to address some of the systemic weaknesses. It was strong international leadership that delivered the aid-reforms of the 90's. The question is whether the current leaders in development are ready for this debate?' Hilde Frafjord Johnson, former Minister of International Development of Norway 'In this impressive new study, Riddell has surpassed even his distinguished Foreign Aid Reconsidered. It includes a rare and much-needed analysis of emergency and voluntary assistance. Complete and authoritative, the book will have a long life as the definitive account of its important subject.' Professor Robert Cassen, London School of Economics 'This book is a heroic achievement. Not only has Roger Riddell mapped out with great clarity the arcane world of international aid, in a way that will help the practitioner as much as the general reader, he has also produced visionary and challenging recommendations for reform of the system. Sir Michael Aaronson, former Director General of Save the Children UK

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