Development Aid ‘Can And Has Worked,’ But Can Achieve Greater Impact If ‘Refocused’

Highlighting two recently published or upcoming books that argue “aid has failed,” Charles Kenney, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD), writes in a Devex opinion piece, “I do think the evidence shows that aid can and has worked, even if much of it hasn’t. Indeed, it may even be that most aid doesn’t work, or at least is far from as efficacious as it might be. But that’s a reason to focus on quality, not a reason to give up.” Kenney outlines several steps he says might make aid more valuable, and he concludes, “Aid can work, sometimes spectacularly. And if we refocused aid, we’d see even more impact. So when it comes to evaluating aid, I think the key question is ‘does it focus on safety, leverage, and learning?'” (10/23).