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Tuesday, 28 June 2005


William Quiviger

Eric, there is certainly some truth in what you say but i think your view is excessively bleak. Corruption watchdog Transparency International is one of the international NGOs that receives the most government funding. Heck, they even have an ad on CNN now! So i think there is still a genuine desire from Western governments to get things right. I would argue that one of the reasons corruption doesn't receive the attention it deserves is precisely because there aren't enough NGO watchdogs like TI.



Great article!!! This is one of the major reasons why aid has been a total disaster, and not just for Africa. There is simply no accountability in the donor-donee relationship. This is also the case with the World Bank. How many times has the Bank invested in building schools and other infrastructure to find a few years later that the schools, bridges, or hospitals were either never built or never functional. It is the clear case of moral hazard.

This moral hazard also extends to the NGOs and charitable organizations. First, they all want what is best for the poor, etc etc. But, after time, they just need projects. Otherwise, how do the the NGOs and their employees get paid. Of course, ignore corruption. If you don't, the NGOs will go out of business.

Next ask yourself, what is the average overhead per project these NGOs charge. It's generally around 70%. That means that 70 cents to the dollar stays with the NGO. What does the NGO care about the sucess or failure of the project? They just need their 70% to stay in business, and it's not even their money that is at stake. Heck, it's not even the donor government's money either. It's the tax payers'. And the tax payers just want to have a clear conscience for eating cheetos while watching bad TV while the rest of the world starves.

I recommend "A Bend in the River" by VS Naipaul if your interested in the nature of African political chaos.

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