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The U.S. Commission on Helping to Enhance the Livelihood of People Around the Globe report to the Secretary of State and Members of Congress.
The foreign aid industry has for decades tried one approach after another in an effort to make aid work. A career of field experience in the aid industry, however, confirms the empirical record that aid is unimportant to growth or poverty reduction and suggests that aid is not likely to work in the future. The belief that foreign assistance has been generally ineffective, moreover, appears to be widespread among aid practitioners with long field experience.The current effort by the United Nations to double worldwide aid flows is part of a pattern to reinvent foreign aid.
Hard evidence, rigorous data, tangible results, value for money--all are tantalizing terms promising clarity for the international development sector. Yet, behind these terms lie definitional tussles, vested interests and contested world views that this background paper to the Politics of Evidence Conference aims to make explicit and question. The objective is to encourage development practitioners to strategize in expanding the politico-bureaucratic space to make room for flexible and creative support of locally-generated and transformative change.