Tabarre Issa camp for IDPs (internally displaced persons) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Monday, June 7, 2010. All images copyright Kendra Helmer -- under CC license

Why We Lie About Aid

A provocative new book examines the politics of the debate on foreign aid.

Pablo Yanguas is a research fellow at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester. He is the author of the new book “Why We Lie About Aid: Development and the Messy Politics of Change.”
The book argues that there is a profound gap between the politics of development and how economic development is actually achieved on the ground in the developing world. And no matter what our ideological leanings might be, the politics surrounding aid and development provide incentives for us to misrepresent what works in reducing poverty and improving livelihoods.

This thesis rings true to my experience covering global development as a journalist for over a decade now. And I must say I found this conversation very clarifying — Yanguas identifies and ascribes political motives to trends that I have certainly seen covering these issues.

Even if you are not a global development nerd, I think you will find this conversation a very useful explanation of the politics of foreign aid.

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