Phil Vernon's blog

I took part in a round table discussion in a post-conflict country recently, looking at aid effectiveness there.

Among the salient details on the table, and which will be familiar from elsewhere:

  • The political economy is a tangled web of patronage, linking government, parliamentarians, bureaucrats and some businesspeople, dominating and closing out political and economic space from others – ultimately likely to be a chronic obstacle to development, even if good for short term stability.
  • The amount of “traditional” OECD and IFI concessional aid is reducing, when compared with the comparatively vast sums being invested by “emerging” players like China.
  • Some of the aid from traditional donors is anyway in the form of instruments like loans and export credit guarantees. Is this really “aid” at all?
  • The level of investment and support coming from “emerging” sources is impossible to quantify accurately, because not in the public domain. But it seems…

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