Citations (16)



Seven Deadly Sins: Reflections on Donor Failings

Nancy Birdsall

Center for Global Development

December 2004

Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 50

In the face of continuing development challenges in the world's poorest countries, there have been new calls throughout the donor community to increase the volume of development aid. Equal attention should be given to the reform of the aid business itself, that is, to the practices, processes, procedures and politics of aid. This paper discusses the shortcomings of that business using new research that has not been adequately or explicitly incorporated into the donor community's reform agenda. It outlines seven of the worst sins or failings of donors, including impatience with institution building, collusion and coordination failures, failure to evaluate the results of their support, and financing that is volatile and unpredictable. It suggests possible short-term practical fixes and notes the need ultimately for more ambitious and structural changes in the overall aid architecture.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

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Date posted: July 5, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Birdsall, Nancy, Seven Deadly Sins: Reflections on Donor Failings (December 2004). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 50. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=997404 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.997404

Contact Information

Nancy Birdsall (Contact Author)
Center for Global Development ( email )
2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-416-0700 (Phone)
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