Does Aid Work? Report to an Intergovernmental Task Force

Does Aid Work? Report to an Intergovernmental Task Force

Does Aid Work? Report to an Intergovernmental Task Force

Does Aid Work? Report to an Intergovernmental Task Force


The question of the effectiveness or counter-productivity of foreign aid is one of the great issues facing the world today. This volume arose from a study conducted for an inter-governmental task force. The team surveyed the published literature, reviewed existing evaluations of aid projects, and undertook seven detailed country studies. The basic finding is that the majority of aid succeeds in terms of its own objectives and obtains a reasonable rate of return. At the same time, this book analyses the frequent failings of aid projects, compares these failings with other forms of private and public investment, and proposes measures for improving aid effectiveness. New to this edition: For the second edition the book has been shortened, removing mainly the more technical parts. The data in the text and tables have been brought up to date, the text has been revised, and each chapter has a new section added reviewing the areas of debate and research findings since 1986. The bibliography has also been updated.


A great deal has happened in debate and discussion of the role of foreign aid since we first wrote; new subjects and new views of old subjects have swum into greater prominence, and it was thought worthwhile to depict this in a new edition.

Does Aid Work? has already gone into two impressions and been translated into German and Japanese. the present edition fully updates the original version. It has pruned some of the more technical parts, for which the interested reader should consult the first edition, and is somewhat reduced in overall length. It also contains discussion of aid experience and related literature which has appeared over the last six years, and an expanded bibliography.

I wish to correct one impression which appeared in several of the book's reviews: Does Aid Work? was not commissioned by the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, but by an international Task Force comprising a number of governments belonging to those two institutions. the preface to the first edition conveyed this with some precision, but the niceties appear to have escaped the reviewers in question.

Finally, I should add that my colleagues who assisted in the writing of the first edition have not been involved in preparing the present one. But I remain indebted to them for the intellectual stimulus and cooperation which made the original volume possible.

Professor R. H. Cassen International Development Centre Queen Elizabeth House University of Oxford

July 1993 . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.