, Volume 145, Issue 3-4, pp 331-337,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 01 Sep 2010

Save the poor, shoot some bankers

Abstract

Bilateral or multilateral organizations control about 90% of official overseas development assistance (ODA), much of which is wasted. This note traces aid failure to the daisy chain of principal-agent-beneficiary relationships linking rich donors to aid bureaucrats to poor recipients. Waste results when aid middlemen (un)intentionally misdirect ODA. Waste can be reduced by clarifying domestic goals for ODA, using fewer middlemen with greater intrinsic motivation, empowering recipients, and/or replacing bureaucracy with markets.