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Democratizing the Aid Encounter in Africa

Alex de Waal
International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-)
Vol. 73, No. 4 (Oct., 1997), pp. 623-639
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Royal Institute of International Affairs
DOI: 10.2307/2624460
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2624460
Page Count: 17
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Democratizing the Aid Encounter in Africa
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Abstract

The record of aid to Africa, in actual achievements in the improved well-being of its recipients, is not a good one. This article contends that this does not mean that aid should be abandoned, but that reform is necessary in the way it is given and managed. The author points out that aid programmes founded on a strong local base and pursued through local agencies have a much better success rate than those imposedfrom outside. He is critical of the tendency among aid donors to avoid proper engagement with the question of political power and argues for a democratization of the aid encounter which would put decisions on the use of aid in the hands of the recipients and ensure the accountability of those administering it.

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