Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New blog: Aid Watch

In a somewhat circuitous fashion, we learn from Opinio Juris about a new blog on development aid - Aid Watch - that has been started by Prof William Easterly, a professor of economics here at NYU. His first post, reflecting on the two recent editorials written by World Bank President Robert Zoellick (one in the New York Times last Friday, and the other in Saturday's Financial Times), strongly suggests that there will be much of GAL-related interest in his musings and analyses: it is entitled "Everyone Should Be Responsible...(except the aid agencies)", and contains the following reflection:

President Zoellick does mention briefly the critical issue in both the NYT and FT: some “safeguards to ensure that the money is well spent,” which don’t currently exist. In the FT, he makes the inspirational call for an “Age of Responsibility,” but the Responsibility seems to apply only to rich donors, there is nothing about holding the World Bank responsible.

If you are not accountable for promises, if you try to do everything and focus on nothing, and if you obsess about aid money raised rather than results achieved, haven’t you already told us that the money will not be “well spent”?

The field of development aid is, of course, one of the most important focal points of the GAL project, particularly as the IILJ has just launched a major research programme on "financing development", which will have a major global administrative law component. We very much look forward, then, to reading and commenting on Prof Easterly's contributions on these matters, and hope to perhaps even have some fruitful inter-blog interaction in the near future.

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