Advertisement

The Epistemic Problem: Potential Solutions

  • Keith HortonEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy book series (LOET, volume 23)

Abstract

Those of us who live in developed countries frequently receive appeals for funds and other forms of support from aid agencies such as Oxfam, World Vision, and CARE.1 How should we respond to such appeals? Should we give to such agencies? Presumably, the answer to this question depends on how good or bad the effects of their work are.2 If those effects are as positive as the fundraising literature of such agencies tends to suggest, then there would be a very strong case for saying that we should give to them. If such agencies do less good, and more harm, than they like to imply though, the case for giving to them would presumably be weaker. And if the effects of their work were bad enough, that case might break down altogether.

Keywords

Sufficient Reason Potential Contributor Relevant Judgement Unfortunate Consequence Epistemic Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Addison, T. 2000. Aid and conflict. In Foreign Aid and Development: Lessons Learnt and Directions for the Future, eds. F. Tarp and , P. Hjertholm. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Arellano-López, S. and J.F. Petras. 1994. Non-governmental organizations and poverty alleviation in Bolivia. Development and Change 25: 555–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baker, J.L. 2000. Evaluating the Impact of Development Projects on Poverty. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  4. Banerjee, A.V. 2007. Making Aid Work. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  5. Biekart, K. 1999. The Politics of Civil Society Building. Utrecht/Amsterdam: International Books and Transnational Institute.Google Scholar
  6. Black, M. 2002. No Nonsense Guide to Development. London: Verso Press.Google Scholar
  7. Burnell, P. 1991. Charity, Politics, and the Third World, Harvester Wheatsheaf Brighton, in the UK. New York: St Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  8. Carr, S.C., E. Mcauliffe, and M. Maclachlan. 1998. Psychology of Aid. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Chambers, R. 1994. Participatory rural appraisal (PRA): Analysis of experience. World Development 22(9): 1253–1268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Clark, J. 1991. Democratizing Development: The Role of Voluntary Organizations. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  11. Cracknell, B. 2000. Evaluating Development Aid. New Delhi: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  12. Collins, C. 1998. Critiques of humanitarianism and humanitarian action. In Humanitarian Coordination: Lessons Learned, 12–26. New York: Office for the coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.Google Scholar
  13. Crocker, D. 1995. Hunger, capability, and development. In Morality and World Hunger, eds. W. Aiken and H. La Follette (1996). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  14. Davies, R. 2001. Monitoring and Evaluating NGO Achievements, at http://www.mande.co.uk/docs/arnold.htm.
  15. De Waal, A. 1997. Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa. London: African Rights and the International African Institute.Google Scholar
  16. Dichter, T. 2003. Despite Good Intentions. Amherst and Boston, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar
  17. Easterly, W. 2006. The White Man’s Burden. New York: The Penguin Press.Google Scholar
  18. Edwards, M. 1996. International Development NGOs: Legitimacy. Accountability, Regulation and Roles’, in Meeting the Challenge of Change: The Report of the Commission on the Future of the Voluntary Sector, Commission on the Future of the Voluntary Sector, London.Google Scholar
  19. Edwards, M. 1999. Future Positive. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  20. Edwards, M. and D. Hulme, eds. 1992. Making a Difference: NGOs and Development in a Changing World. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  21. Edwards, M. and D. Hulme. 1996. Introduction: NGO performance and accountability. In Beyond the Magic Bullet: NGO Performance and Accountability in the Post-Cold War World, eds. M. Edwards and D. Hulme. West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press.Google Scholar
  22. Escobar, A. 1994. Encountering Development. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Fowler, A. 2000. Civil Society, NGDOs and Social Development: Changing the Rules of the Game. Occasional Paper, UNRISD, Geneva, athttp://www.unrisd.org/unrisd/website/document.nsf/0/F553495F06F98DCE80256B5E005C9DDC?OpenDocument.
  24. Fowler, A. and K. Biekart. 1996. Do private aid agencies really make a difference. In Compassion and Calculation: The Business of Private Aid Agencies, ed. D. Sogge. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  25. Goldenberg, D.A. 2003. The Mega 2002 Evaluation (Meta-Evaluation of Goal Achievement in CARE projects), CARE USA Program Division, Feb 2003, at http://care.ca/libraries/dme/.Google Scholar
  26. Horton, K. 2009. Should We Give to Aid Agencies? Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Hulme, D. and M. Edwards, eds. 1997. NGOs, States and Donors: Too Close for Comfort? London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  28. Kershaw, I. 1995. Review of the Effectiveness of NGO Programs. Canberra: AusAID.Google Scholar
  29. Kremer, M. and E. Miguel 2004. The Illusion of Sustainability, Working Paper no. W10324, National Bureau of Economic Research at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=509855.
  30. Kruse, S.-E., T. Kyllönen, S. Ojanperä, R. Riddell, and J. Vielajus. 1997. Searching for Impact and Methods: NGO Evaluation Synthesis Study. Helsinki: Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at http://www.valt.helsinki.fi/ids/ngo/.Google Scholar
  31. Korten, D. 1987. Third generation NGO strategies: A key to people-centred development. World Development 15(Supplement): 145–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Korten, D. 1990. Getting to the 21st Century: Voluntary Action and the Global Agenda. West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press.Google Scholar
  33. Lappe, F.M. and J. Collins. 1988. World Hunger: Twelve Myths. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  34. Lindenberg, M. and C. Bryant. 2001. Going Global: Transforming Relief and Development NGOs. West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press.Google Scholar
  35. Maren, M. 1997. The Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  36. Millwood, D. ed. 1996. The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience, Steering Committee of the Joint Evaluation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda, at http://www.reliefweb.int/library/nordic/index.html.
  37. Minear, L. 2002. The Humanitarian Enterprise: Dilemmas and Discoveries. West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press.Google Scholar
  38. Oakley, P. 1999. A Review of Danish NGO activities in Developing Countries. Oxford: Intrac.Google Scholar
  39. ODI (Overseas Development Institute). 1996. The Impact of NGO Development Projects, Briefing Paper, Overseas Development Institute, London.Google Scholar
  40. OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development). 1992. The Evaluation of Non-Governmental Organisations’ Activities, Organisation, Methodology and Results. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  41. Oxfam. 2003. Stakeholder Survey 2003/4, Oxfam GB, London at http://www.oxfam.org.uk/about_us/index.htm.
  42. Pogge, T. 2007. Moral priorities for international human rights NGOs. In Ethics in Action: The Ethical Challenges of International Human Rights Nongovernmental Organizations, eds. D.A. Bell and J.-M. Coicard. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Pritchett, L. 2002. It pays to be ignorant: A simple political economy of rigorous program evaluation. The Journal of Policy Reform 5(4): 251–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rahnema, M. and V. Bawtree. 1997. The Post-Development Reader. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  45. Riddell, R. 1999. Evaluating NGO Development Interventions. In NGOs and Voluntary Organisations: Learning from Each Other, ed. D. Lewis. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  46. Riddell, R. 2007. Does Aid Really Work? Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Riddell, R., A. Bebbington, and L. Peck. 1994. Promoting Development by Proxy: The Development Impact of the Swedish Government’s Support to NGOs. Stockholm: SIDA.Google Scholar
  48. Riddell, R., M. Robinson, J. De Coninck, A. Muir, and S. White. 1995. Non-Governmental Organizations and Rural Poverty Alleviation. London: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  49. Rieff, D. 1995. The humanitarian trap. World Policy Journal 12(4 (Winter)): 1–11.Google Scholar
  50. Rondinelli, D. (1993). Projects as Policy Experiments: An Adaptive Approach to Development Administration. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. Roche, C. 1999. Impact Assessment for Development Agencies. Oxford: Oxfam GB.Google Scholar
  52. Sachs, W. 1991. The Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  53. Savedoff, W.D., R. Levine, and N. Birdsall 2006. When Will we ever Learn? Improving Lives Through Impact Evaluation, Center for Global Development, at http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/7973.
  54. Singer, P. 2009. The Life you can Save. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  55. Smillie, I. 1995. The Alms Bazaar: Altruism Under Fire—Non-Profit Organizations and International Development. London: IT Publications.Google Scholar
  56. Smillie, I. 1999. At sea in a sieve? In Stakeholders: Government-NGO Partnerships for International Development, eds. I. Smillie and H. Helmich. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  57. Sogge, D., ed. 2002. Give and Take: What’s the Matter with Foreign Aid? London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  58. Tendler, J. 1982. Turning Private Voluntary Organizations into Development Agencies: Questions for Evaluation, Discussion Paper No. 12, USAID Programme Evaluation, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  59. The Economist. 2006. Feb 25, 16Google Scholar
  60. Terry, F. 2002. Condemned to Repeat? The Paradox of Humanitarian Action. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Tvedt, T. 1995. Non-Governmental Organisations as a Channel for Development Aid: The Norwegian System, Evaluation Report. Norway: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Google Scholar
  62. Vaux, T. 2001. The Selfish Altruist: Relief Work in Famine and War. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  63. Weiss, T.G. 1999. Principles, politics, and humanitarian action. Ethics and International Affairs 13: 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Wenar, L. 2007. The basic structure as object: Institutions and humanitarian concern. Canadian Journal of Philosophy in Global justice, global institutions Supp. 31: 253–278.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WollongongWollongongAustralia

Personalised recommendations