OECD Insights

1993-6753 (online)
1993-6745 (print)
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OECD Insights are a series of reader-friendly books that use OECD analysis and data to introduce some of today’s most pressing social and economic issues. They are written for the non-specialist reader, including interested laypeople, older high-school students and university freshmen. The books use straightforward language, avoid technical terms, and illustrate theory with real-world examples. They also feature statistics drawn from the OECD’s unique collection of internationally comparable data. Online, you can find a number of special features to enhance each book’s educational potential.

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From Aid to Development

From Aid to Development

The Global Fight against Poverty You or your institution have access to this content

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Brian Keeley
25 June 2012
9789264123571 (PDF) ;9789264111523(print)

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The balance of economic power is shifting. Countries that were once poor are becoming economic powerhouses. Yet poverty persists worldwide, depriving billions of people of basic necessities and the prospects of creating a better life. How are we responding to this challenge? This book explores the multi-faceted world of aid and development co-operation – a range of global, and sometimes contested, efforts aimed at reducing the impact of poverty. It traces the history of these efforts, explains where they come from and where they are going, and asks whether they are achieving as much as they could. It also examines some of the ways in which development efforts can be made more effective in achieving lasting benefits through good governance and the creation of a deeper partnership between developed and developing countries. And it looks at how the economic emergence of countries like China and India is bringing a new dynamic to development co-operation.

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  • Foreword and Acknowledgements
    Development has been at the core of the OECD’s mandate from the very beginning; it’s what the "D" in our name stands for. The drive to reduce poverty, support and improve development perspectives and create better policies for better lives has been a consistent theme of the Organisation’s work for over half a century.
  • Introduction
    From a young girl in Pakistan to an old farmer in Ethiopia, aid is changing people’s lives. But behind these simple human stories lies the vastly complex world of development co-operation – a place filled with countless actors and numberless projects, whose aims and achievements are often misunderstood.
  • The persistence of poverty
    In a world undergoing an enormous shift in wealth, why are some countries still poor? The question might seem obvious, but the answers are not. Investigating the causes and many facets of poverty is essential to understanding the challenge for development co-operation.
  • What is aid?
    Aid is a big part of the world’s development co-operation effort. Most comes from developed countries, but China and countries in the Arab world are also significant contributors, as are multilateral bodies like The World Bank, as well as NGOs and billionaires like Bill Gates.
  • Shifting development goals and motivations
    Why give aid? The world’s wealthiest countries have long had many reasons for working with developing countries, from alleviating hardship to exercising influence. In recent years, other factors have moved up the agenda, not the least of which is a desire to strengthen global security.
  • Are we getting results?
    Does development co-operation get results? A simple question with a simple answer – Yes. Or, rather: Yes, but not always. The distinction is important: understanding what makes it work, and what holds it back, is essential to delivering maximum benefits.
  • Changing relationships and policies
    The need to ensure that aid is used as well as possible has become a dominant theme in development. Making this happen requires a new relationship between developing and developed countries. Partnership is key, not just in aid but in a range of policy areas.
  • Governance matters
    When a country can’t run its own affairs, it’s the poor who pay the highest price. This is one reason why good governance – including upholding human rights – creating systems of accountability and setting up functioning tax systems have become a major focus of development co-operation.
  • New partners for development
    As it’s done before, the global economy is shifting once again, with the emergence of new economic powerhouses like China and India. They’re becoming important partners for the world’s poorest countries, introducing new ideas, energy and money, but also new challenges for development co-operation.
  • References
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