Events such as Live 8 and the G8 Summit focusing on aid and poverty relief have turned the world spotlight on these issues like never before. Yet the top-down international aid system is failing to respond to the needs of the very people it purports to help, and is thus failing in the task of reducing poverty and building global security.
This book, authored by an internationally renowned group of aid practitioners, cuts to the root of the problem, which is that policy prescription and an overwhelming concern with measuring financial results means that aid organizations treat recipients as powerless, voiceless entities rather than active partners in a working relationship. The solution is for aid agencies to reorient their priorities and learn how to build lasting partnerships that transfer power to the very people locked in poverty. More than just a critique, the authors offer a practical framework for understanding relationships in the international aid system and look at the relevance of organizational learning theory that is widely used in business.