|About the Book|
With more than a billion people now living on less than a dollar a day, and witheight million dying each year because they are simply too poor to live, most would agree that theproblem of global poverty is our greatest moral challenge. The large andMoreWith more than a billion people now living on less than a dollar a day, and witheight million dying each year because they are simply too poor to live, most would agree that theproblem of global poverty is our greatest moral challenge. The large and pressing practical questionis how best to address that challenge. Although millions of dollars flow to poor countries, theresults are often disappointing.In Making Aid Work, Abhijit Banerjee--an aid optimist--argues thataid has much to contribute, but the lack of analysis about which programs really work causesconsiderable waste and inefficiency, which in turn fuels unwarranted pessimism about the role of aidin fostering economic development.Banerjee challenges aid donors to do better. Building on the modelused to evaluate new drugs before they come on the market, he argues that donors should assessprograms with field experiments using randomized trials. In fact, he writes, given the number ofsuch experiments already undertaken, current levels of development assistance could focus entirelyon programs with proven records of success in experimental conditions.Responding to his challenge,leaders in the field--including Nicholas Stern, Raymond Offenheiser, Alice Amsden, Ruth Levine,Angus Deaton, and others--question whether randomized trials are the most appropriate way toevaluate success for all programs. They raise broader questions as well, about the importance of aidfor economic development and about the kinds of interventions (micro or macro, political oreconomic) that will lead to real improvements in the lives of poor people around the world. With onein every six people now living in extreme poverty, getting it right is crucial.