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  • Author: Benjamin Leo
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The United States government has made repeated declarations over the last decade to align its assistance programs behind developing countries' priorities. By utilizing public attitude surveys for 42 African and Latin American countries, this paper examines how well the US has implemented this guiding principle. Building upon the Quality of Official Development Assistance Assessment (QuODA) approach, I identify what people cite most frequently as the 'most pressing problems' facing their nations and then measure the percentage of US assistance commitments that are directed towards addressing them. By focusing on public surveys over time, this analysis attempts to provide a more nuanced and targeted examination of whether US portfolios are addressing what people care the most about. As reference points, I compare US alignment trends with the two regional multilateral development banks (MDBs) – the African Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Overall, this analysis suggests that US assistance may be only modestly aligned with what people in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America cite as their nation's most pressing problems. By comparison, the African Development Bank – which is majority-led by regional member nations – performs significantly better than the United States. Like the United States, however, the Inter-American Development Bank demonstrates a low relative level of support for people's top concerns.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America, Latin America
  • Author: Richard Snyder, Kelly Bay, Cecilia Perla
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: This article explores the political economy of social science research in the Global South by analyzing new bibliometric and survey data on Peru, a lower-middle income country with weak domestic funding and institutional support for scholarship. The results of the analysis show that although research in Peru is heavily dependent on foreign funding, the multiplicity of funding institutions gives scholars a surprising degree of autonomy. Still, dependence on foreign funding produces conditions with potentially harmful consequences for the quality and impact of research. Five conditions are considered: multiple institutional affiliations, hyperproductivity, forced interdisciplinarity, parochialism, and a weak national community of scholars.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Peru
  • Author: Fulvio Castellacci, Hamza Kanar
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The economic reforms recently implemented in Cuba do not adequately deal with the structural issues that hamper the country's economic development. The paper presents a system dynamics model to investigate Cuba's development process, and a simulation analysis to compare different policy scenarios that may be realized in the future as economic reforms will continue. The results indicate that the most effective development policy would be to combine active public policies to enhance the R sector, on the one hand, and foster the emergence of an efficient private sector that will develop the capital infrastructure of the economy, on the other.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Jonas Wolff
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Bolivia offers a critical, but atypical, case for international democracy promotion. The ongoing political transformation initiated by President Evo Morales constitutes one of the few experiences in the world of a serious effort to build a democracy different from the existing Western liberal models. And this presents a significant challenge to democracy promotion efforts.
  • Topic: Democratization, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Jose Brambila-Macias, Isabella Massa, Matthew J. Salois
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In this paper, we use a mixed-effects trade gravity model on a sample of 83 developing countries over the period 1990-2007 to assess the impact of trade finance and foreign aid on bilateral export flows. In addition to traditional variables, we also include a banking crises variable and a global economic downturns variable among the regressors. Differences across developing regions are taken into account. Our results suggest that: (i) trade finance has a positive and significant impact on bilateral export flows in all developing regions except Latin America; (ii) foreign aid matters in all regions; (iii) global economic downturns exert a negative and significant impact on export flows in all developing countries, and especially in Latin American and Sub-Saharan African economies; (iv) banking crises appear to have no significant impact in most developing regions.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Aid, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America
  • Author: Alex Evans, David Steven
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The Rio 2012 summit on sustainable development is now one year away. Over two decades since the 1992 'Earth Summit', sustainable development has not materialized: as global GDP has risen, so have greenhouse gas emissions, species loss and environmental degradation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Environment, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Oeindrila Dube, Suresh Naidu
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Does foreign military assistance strengthen or further weaken fragile states facing internal conflict? We address this question by estimating how U.S. military aid affects violence and electoral participation in Colombia. We exploit the allocation of U.S. military aid to Colombian military bases, and compare how aid affects municipalities with and without bases. Using detailed political violence data, we find that U.S. military aid leads to differential increases in attacks by paramilitaries (who collude with the military), but has no effect on guerilla attacks. Aid increases also result in more paramilitary (but not guerrilla) homicides during election years. Moreover, when military aid rises, voter turnout falls more in base municipalities, especially those that are politically contested.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Democratization, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Neil Webster
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: There are two fundamentally different understandings of how to bring about development. One argues that through the right policies it is possible to create an enabling environment for the development of people and societies. The other emphasises that development can only take place if those who are supposed to benefit from it, insist on it themselves. In the second understanding development cannot be created from above or from outside. So-called cash transfer programmes having spread from Latin America to Africa and Asia are based on this understanding as they transfer money to poor people on certain conditions. The question is to what extent these programmes contribute to development.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Benjamin Leo
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Four years ago, the G-7 pushed through an unprecedented initiative forcing the international financial institutions to cancel 100 percent of their outstanding debt claims on the world's poorest countries. Through the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), these heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs) stand to receive up to $60 billion in debt relief over time. Moreover, the World Bank, African Development Bank, and IMF shareholders approved a new debt sustainability framework to govern future lending decisions and prevent the need for yet another round of systemic debt relief. All parties emerged from these landmark agreements confident that the dragon of unsustainable debt finally had been slain. However, several unsettling trends raise serious questions about the finality of these actions. First, World Bank and AfDB lending disbursement volumes to these very same HIPC countries remain very high, and nearly the same as compared to pre-MDRI. Emergency IMF lending in response to the global economic crisis has compounded the situation. Second, IMF and World Bank growth projections for HIPCs remain overly rosy compared to actual and historical performance. Our new dataset of IMF growth projections suggests a structural optimism of at least one percentage point per year. Third, HIPCs continue to experience significant volatility in country performance measures that has a direct impact on their ability to carry debt sustainably. Taken together, these findings suggest that donor countries should re-examine the issue of debt sustainability in low-income countries and the system for determining the appropriate grant/loan mix. The upcoming IDA and AfDF replenishment negotiations present a timely opportunity to do so. Absent assertive and corrective action, the international community may be faced with the prospect of a HIPC IV agreement in the not too distant future.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Terry F. Buss, Adam Gardner
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The National Academy of Public Administration
  • Abstract: Haiti—an island [shared with the Dominican Republic] country of 8 million people about the size of Maryland just 600 miles off the coast of Florida—is an extreme case: it has received billions in foreign assistance, yet persists as one of the poorest and worst governed countries. Haiti is strategically important to the United States because of its location; perpetual state of violence and instability affecting the region; support for drug trafficking; potential as a trading partner; strong ties to a large Haitian-American diaspora; counterbalance to Communist Cuba; and relationship with the Latin American and Caribbean community.
  • Topic: Economics, Poverty, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Aid, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean, Florida