Posts Tagged ‘World Bank’

Lucymemsahib and SAP

May 6, 2012

By Irfan Husain

Over the years, billions of dollars in foreign aid have been poured into Pakistan’s social sector. Nevertheless, literacy remains stubbornly below 50 per cent, and life expectancy at birth is at 66 years, 164th lowest in the world.

So why this abysmal and sustained failure by successive Pakistani governments and international donors in solving these perennial problems? After all, other similarly placed countries have made great strides in both critical areas. Sri Lanka, to name one, has long had a literacy rate of over 90 per cent, and life expectancy there is above 75.

One reason is our prodigious birth rate: Pakistan’s population has grown around six times since Partition, climbing exponentially from around 32 million in 1947 to close to 190 million now. (more…)

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A Primer on Foreign Aid – 3: Real Issues

May 31, 2011

We are now in a position, having described the evidence (A Primer on Foreign Aid – 2), to discuss the less obvious dimensions of foreign aid which address issues of whether aid can be effective and under what kinds of conditions. (more…)

A Primer on Foreign Aid – 2: Rationale and Results

May 30, 2011

With the basic definitions out of the way (A Primer on Foreign Aid – 1) we can move on to the rationale of foreign aid and its results and consequences. (more…)

A Primer on Foreign Aid – 1: Essential Definitions

May 29, 2011

Foreign aid is almost always in the news, at times more than others. All sorts of questions keep swirling in the air: questions about its nature, rationale, aims, effects, results, justification, symbolism, and even about its quantum. All through this heated debate the issue remains surrounded by a thick fog of obfuscation; many remain unclear of what exactly is being talked about. In this post, I intend to present a primer on foreign aid. Each of the opinions offered in the following sections can be contested; the aim is not to provide a definitive conclusion but to set the stage for an informed debate that employs common definitions and a shared point of departure. (more…)

War or Peace on the Indus?

April 3, 2010

By John Briscoe

Anyone foolish enough to write on war or peace in the Indus needs to first banish a set of immediate suspicions. I am neither Indian nor Pakistani. I am a South African who has worked on water issues in the subcontinent for 35 years and who has lived in Bangladesh (in the 1970s) and Delhi (in the 2000s). In 2006 I published, with fine Indian colleagues, an Oxford University Press book titled India’s Water Economy: Facing a Turbulent Future and, with fine Pakistani colleagues, one titled Pakistan’s Water Economy: Running Dry.

I was the Senior Water Advisor for the World Bank who dealt with the appointment of the Neutral Expert on the Baglihar case. My last assignment at the World Bank (relevant, as described later) was as Country Director for Brazil. I am now a mere university professor, and speak in the name of no one but myself. (more…)