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In a recent review of William Easterly's The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good, published in the SAIS Review, CGD president Nancy Birdsall applauds Easterly's diagnosis of the problem with foreign aid: donors favor big, comprehensive, visible projects rather than trying to solve narrow, immediate problems. Easterly proposes a two-fold solution: remodel the entire system to raise accountability and refocus aid toward smaller, specialized programs. Birdsall argues against reinventing the entire aid system, in place of reforming aspects of it to resemble Easterly's model.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.