The issue of “focus on results” or “value for money” is being hotly debated in the context of the UK’s aid reform. It is worth remembering that the key difference between “results”- and “relationships”-based approaches to aid lies in their different assumptions about how well we (aid agencies/ workers) can know and control the world around us (i.e in our projects/ recipient countries).
While there are good reasons to be sceptical of meta-statements on aid effectiveness (“since its inception X billions in aid have been given and this much or this little has been achieved…”), it is worth drawing attention to Charles Kenny’s latest contribution to the macro-aid-effectiveness debate.
Good Intentions are not enough has a ton of advice on if and how to donate to Japan as a response to the current crisis, plus some general advice on “dos and don’ts of disaster donations“. More generally, GiveWell looks like a good resource for finding a good charity to give to.
And because we haven’t had a “terminological warning” in a while, here are two: one on “facipulation” and another one on “ownception“. See if you can figure out to which key terms from the aid literature these allude.