Writer Paul Theroux, in “Africa’s Aid Mess” for Barron’s, delves into the history of debates over Western aid to Africa, from Charles Dickens to Bill Gates. “The desire of distant outsiders to fix Africa may be heartfelt, but it is also age-old and even quaint,” he writes.
By contrast, Wronging Rights, a blog often critical of (poorly-thought-through) aid projects, has a brief review of AidGrade, which aggregates impact evaluations of a number of projects and sectors. AidGrade should be expanding its filter selection soon to search by location. The question is, will such statistical tools geared toward individual donors resolve the problems that Theroux highlights?
The economic and demographic prowess of Africa alone may not necessarily be the turnaround strategy for the continent, as Jay Naidoo argues in the article ‘Africa Rising? Whose Africa?‘ published in the Daily Maverick. He emphasizes that visionary leadership and good governance are what Africa needs to rise above the challenges of the time – above endemic rhetoric and toward a collective action for development.
We invite CIHA Blog readers to comment below about what you believe “collective action” means for just forms of development.
In “Sudan’s Struggle for Peace” for Foreign Policy Magazine (Middle East Channel), University of California, Santa Cruz professor Mark Fathi Massoud analyzes recent protests in Sudan by placing them in the country’s political, legal, and historical context – a decades-long struggle for peace.
Using health, education, economic, rights, stability, and infrastructure data from a number of international organizations, academic and research centers, and development organizations, this “Scoring Africa” infographic compares Africa’s 54 internationally recognized countries (minus South Sudan, which has no country-level development data yet).
Comparing countries on a particular indicator or comparing indicator levels for a particular country is a highlight of this infographic, but does the reliance on measurements and indicators hide certain aspects of development – or perhaps rely on a specific definition of development? How might we supplement this type of information with additional questions?
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From the Tiny Spark Blog, Amy Costello interviews author Nina Monk, who reported on Jeffrey Sachs’ multimillion dollar effort to eradicate poverty in Africa. Listen to the interview, “Tracking One Man’s Quest to End Extreme Poverty,” where Monk delves into the problem of applying Western academic approaches directly to issues on the ground without taking into account local needs, cultures, strengths, and problems.