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Ills of Aid
Eberhard Reusse
Price: $ 20

In The Ills of Aid, Eberhard Reusse draws on his thirty years of experience with international development aid programs to diagnose the problems afflicting these programs and to suggest ways to improve them. Throughout the book he demonstrates that unrealistic interventionist paragigms - that is, erroneous Western notions of Third World realities that misidentify needs for intervention - are at the root of most inappropriate development policies.

Reusse bases his analysis on detailed case studies of two rural development programs in Africa: the UN's "war on waste" and "cereal banks" for small farmers. He shows, for instance, that the "war on waste" was based on the wrong assumption that post-harvest losses totaled up to 40% of all crops in Third World countries, whereas they were actually closer to 5%. But even after donors had the opportunity to discover their mistake, some programs remained unchanged for decades. To cure the ills of aid, Reusse advocates fundamental changes, including more direct accountability to the primary funding base - the international taxpayer - and the privatization of aid.

Eberhard Reusse worked for three decades for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and other international and bilateral development programs, including numerous World Bank investment missions.

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