A book recommendation

7 10 2008

I recently read a couple of good books on international development, but would particularly recommend William Easterly’s “The White Man’s Burden”. In this book Dr Easterly analyses why grand schemes and big plans to end absolute poverty fail. The book is largely a response to my other read, Jeffery Sachs’ “The End of Poverty”. Whereas Dr Sachs describes a grandiose plan for UN economists to spend vast sums of money rescuing the worlds poorest Dr Easterly suggests that perhaps the poor can better direct aid themselves, and that the broad scope of the “big plan” makes monitoring difficult and apportioning blame or praise almost impossible. Instead Dr Easterly recommends that agencies concentrate on lots of small targets, and open themselves to independent scrutiny.

Overall I found “The White Man’s Burden” a rational, well reasoned and sensible approach to development issues whereas the pop star endorsed “The End of Poverty” drips with hubristic schemes.

[Updated]
A longer booklist is here

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3 responses

8 10 2008
Kajsa

Hi Tim,

thanks for letting me know about your blog! If you want to be part of our blog community and blogpage ghanablogging.com write an email to ghanablogging.yahoogroups.com and introduce yourself and your blog.

Judging from what you read you might be interested in taking part in blogactionday.org, this years theme is Poverty.

Cheers,
Kajsa

8 10 2008
Kajsa

ok, just scrolled down and realized you already were taking part :-)

14 01 2010
juliana

I’m not sure if anyone reads this anymore, but a couple of books that I have found to be useful in my hunt for solutions to poverty have been Mohammad Yunus’ Banker to the Poor and Creating a World Without Poverty. Also, Irene Khan’s The Unheard Truth and definitely Nicholas Kristof’s Half the Sky.

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