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Norwegian, Chinese Approaches To Aid Offer Insight For Policy Debates On Aid Effectiveness

Washington Post: Why do nations invest in international aid? Ask Norway. And China.
Dan Banik, professor of political science and research director, and Nikolai Hegertun, PhD candidate in political science and research fellow, both at the Center for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo

“…We recently studied Norwegian and Chinese aid to two countries in sub-Saharan Africa … [in order] to inform international policy debates on aid effectiveness, and to learn more about how aid influences national development and reduces poverty. The two countries pursue widely different strategies. While Norway provides substantial funding for budget support and funds civil society organizations, China offers a combination of grants and concessional loans and prioritizes infrastructure development in poor countries. … [In contrast to Norway’s approach,] China’s approach is characterized not by generosity, but pragmatism. … Although altruism may increase a country’s soft power, global development requires much more than generosity. As aid recipient countries become more assertive, and as the national interests of donors become even more closely tied with aid, we see a possible synthesis between the Western and Chinese intervention strategies in Africa…” (10/27).

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