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09 July 2008


Liz Delph

I think the author might have misread Easterly's intent. For him, the problem is that global programs are all too often conceived of and developed too far from the local level, and do not take local context into consideration. Talk to anyone who's spent time in the field, and they will tell you the same thing.

Much of the incompetencies of local ministries can be attributed to the human resource issues caused by foreign organizations hiring away healthcare workers from the public sector, a neglect of systems strengthening, and the burdensome requirements of too many donors. Talk to some of the major international institutions, such as the World Bank and the OECD, and they will tell you the same thing.

The reason why DFID is moving toward more general budget support is because operating parallel systems does not work and certainly does nothing to ensure the country can one day manage its own programs. Other major donors, such as the Global Fund, GAVI and Education for All, are also looking to work more with developing country governments. Probably because the author's argument is seriously, but touchingly, out of date.

We're blogging on a similar issue at www.betteraid.org.

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