Give and Take

What's the matter with foreign aid
30 April 2002
Book
Foreign aid is supposed to be benign and selfless, yet often harms more than it helps, and benefits givers more than receivers. This thoughtful book argues that aid must be made less of a problem, more of a solution.
ISBN/ISSN
  • 1 84277 069 1

April 2002

Foreign aid is a large global endeavour with a turnover of tens of billions of dollars. Now, more than fifty years old, it is a troubled industry with few successes to its name, yet expected to respond to new and frighteningly complex problems. Can it do so? Supposed to be benign and selfless, it often harms more than it helps, and benefits givers more than receivers. Can it stop doing so? Can we create a system of genuine help - democratic in its execution, effective in its impact, adequate in scale, just in its consequences.

"Give & Take" grasps these questions. It probes who gets what, where and why in the aid encounter. Foreign aid is an issue that concerns us all, financially and morally. This thoughtful book argues that aid must be made less of a problem, more of a solution.

About the book - ZedPress

Billions are spent each year on foreign aid. Tens of thousands are employed in the aid industry. The purpose is ostensibly selfless and benign. Yet it is the focus of controversy. David Sogge asks: * Is there a real net flow of financial resources to the South? * How much aid should there be? * On what terms should it be given? Do the strings imposed imply a resurrection of old colonial controls? * Can Northern governments, international financial institutions and developing countries ever agree? * Can we think of an aid system for the new century - democratic, effective, adequate and just?

Contents

  • Prologue: A Tale of Two Foreign Aid Initiatives
    Western Europe 1948-52
    Eastern Europe and the ex-Soviet Union 1900 to today
    1. Foreign Aid: A Problem Posing as a Solution?
      Many tasks, many friends, many guises
      Main themes
      Context
    2. Who is Aiding Whom?
      The players
      Who's really aiding whom?
    3. The Aid Regime and Power Agendas
      Why provide foreign aid?
      Why seek and accept aid?
      Market power and aid power: sharing the same address
      Rules of the game
    4. Aid in Chains
      Ownership and initiative
      Multilateral official channels
      National official systems
    5. Towards the Receiving Ends
      Chain reactions
      Consequences
      Some ways out
      Conclusions
    6. Governance without Politics?
      Setting the stage
      Aid and (dis-)empowerment
      Governance as an export product
    7. When Money Talks, What Does it Tell Us?
      Ideas (almost) all the way down
      "The intellectual/financial complex of foreign aid"
      Policy activism
      Conclusion
    8. Outcomes in Four Dimensions
      Survival
      Economic well-being
      Political autonomy
      Collective self-esteem
    9. End of the Beginning, or Beginning of the End?
      A summary glance
      Revisiting a few principles
      Towards an agenda
      End trusteeship, build public politics
  • Appendices:
    A. Major Donors' Top Five Recipients
    B. Five Decades of Foreign Aid: Political & Economic Highlights
    C. Intensity of ODA over Three Decades
    D. The Debt
    E. Sources of Information and Debate