Week 14: Gender Equality Policies and Economic Equality for Women

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A happy illustration of girls’ empowerment. Photo: © Panos / Hamish Wilson. From http://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/july-2005/africa-and-challenge-millennium-development-goals
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The logo for Our Africa, an organization that provides orphan children living with SOS families the resources to create a short film about their country and their own lives and dreams for the future. From http://www.our-africa.org/about-this-site

Despite the continued gender gap between men and women, progress is being realized throughout Africa. As Our Africa reminds us, achieving equality takes time. This is why policies are continuously being proposed and implemented in the present to help improve the lives of women in the future. One great goal has been to educate and empower young girls. When scholarships are given to girls or their families are heavily encouraged to enroll their daughters in formal education, women become better equipped to share decision-making and pursue their own careers. This, in turn, leads to a more equal society and productive country. Mathilde Kayitesi, the coordinator of a woman’s organization for peace education and conflict resolution in Rwanda, claimed that girls and boys have equal rights to an education and that because of this, her country is heading in the right direction. Additionally, in countries such as Rwanda and Tanzania, the constitutions have been amended to include a requirement for the government to be composed of a particular percentage of women. Such a policy provides women with exceptional access to high-ranking political positions in which they can further address the pressing issues of gender inequality. For example, Rwanda’s high number of women in parliament facilitated the passing of laws that enforce more severe punishment of anyone committing violence against women.

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Two women in Sierra Leone with Ebola info cards. Photo: UN Women/Emma Vincent. From http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2014/10/sierra-leone-ebola-response

Of course, more needs to be done to help create a more sustainable gender equality. For instance, in “Why Are So Many Women Dying From Ebola?”, Lauren Wolfe discusses how policies governing infectious disease scenarios do not acknowledge the gender differential that exists in the morbidity and mortality of certain communicable diseases. She asserts, “…When women are the primary victims of an epidemic, few are willing to recognize that this is the case, ask why, and build responses accordingly. Indeed, experts say that too little is being done… to determine in advance of outbreaks, for instance, how understanding gender roles might help in the development of a containment or prevention strategy” (Wolfe, p. 2). During the Ebola outbreak, women continued their traditional duties of caring for the sick. Because this disease spreads through contact with an infected individual’s blood or body fluids, women were disproportionately afflicted. The analysis and acceptance of this correlation could lead to vital policy change that protects women.

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A woman shop owner. From http://www.icrw.org/what-we-do/economic-empowerment
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A quote from VSA New Zealand’s CEO on the benefits of economic opportunity and empowerment of women. From http://www.vsa.org.nz

Economic opportunity is one of the best equalizers of gender disparities. Maintaining a steady income gives women the ability to make their own decisions regarding work, family, housing, health, and so much more. A woman would no longer be forced into marriage or be bound to remain dependent on an abusive husband. Amazingly enough, women are not the only ones who gain from this economic opportunity. As the IMF explains, “Aguirre and others (2012) suggest that raising the female labor force participation rate (FLFPR) to country-specific male levels would, for instance, raise GDP in the United States by 5 percent, in Japan by 9 percent, in the United Arab Emirates by 12 percent, and in Egypt by 34 percent” (IMF, p. 4). These estimations illustrate the countrywide, economic benefit stemming from gender equality in the workforce. Other potential advances include economic growth by mitigating the impact of a shrinking workforce; higher levels of school enrollment for girls; greater productivity of female-owned companies; and better use of the talent pool (IMF, p. 4-5). Thus, fostering economic opportunity does not simply advance the lives of women, as the improved lives of women will then advance society as a whole- a virtuous cycle we must activate.


Week 13: Women’s Empowerment

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An info-graphic depicting the need for MDG3: Promoting Gender Equality and Empower Women to “step up,” as women still face discrimination in many ways. From http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/gender.shtml
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A statistic from the World Bank proving how influential education is to a girl’s future. Image from http://www.mercycorps.org

For young girls around the world, knowledge is power and can make a world of difference. Too often female children in developing countries are prematurely taken out of school in order to become domestic workers, young brides, and ultimately, child-mothers. The discontinuation of education for young girls locks them into a place of subordination to and dependence on their male counterparts, where domestic and sexual violence is rampant. In such situations, those ambitious, intelligent girls full of potential no longer have the ability to pursue their dreams. They are denied equal opportunity, and it is devastating. Devastating, not only from a human rights perspective, but also from one of progress. Imagine all the potential doctors, nurses, engineers, researchers, scholars, businesswomen, entrepreneurs, and schoolteachers who are deprived of the foundation upon which successful careers are built. However, the girls are not the only ones missing out: these countries forgo a great deal of growth by using only 50% of their resources.

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The organization Let Girls Lead’s logo. From http://www.letgirlslead.org

There are a number of initiatives in Africa aimed at empowering girls. In her article, “Denise Duning goes to the causes of poverty, unleashing girl power to create positive change through Let Girls Lead,” writer Stacy Teicher Khadaroo writes on one of these: Let Girls Lead. This is a California-based initiative created by Denise Dunning that offers training and other forms of support to local social entrepreneurs looking to change policies. In Malawi, for example, Let Girls Lead worked alongside Malawi’s Girls Empowerment Network (GENET) to campaign for raising the national marriage age from 15 to 18. Such amazing progress has been made that “In the villages where GENET has already pushed for bylaws to raise the marriage age to 21, parents who try to marry off daughters before then have to sweep the floors at the local school or hospital…” (Teicher Khadaroo, 43). Through this same organization and key partners, a woman in Liberia, Rosana Schaack, was able to develop and help pass Liberia’s Children’s Law, “a landmark guarantee of rights to health care and education, along with other safeguards, with a particular focus on the needs of girls” (Teicher Khadaroo, 44). Both of these initiatives encourage girls to continue their educations, thus, they also help return choice to those disempowered by inequality.

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“Julian Omalla Adyeri sharing her experiences of more than two decades as a businesswoman, with, from left, Theopista Sekitto Ntale, Uganda Country Director for New Faces New Voices; Hodan Addou, UN Women Uganda Country Representative and Almaz Gebru, UNDP Country Director, looking on.” Photo by: UN Women/Nadine Kamolleh. From http://beijing20.unwomen.org/en/news-and-events/stories/2014/11/in-uganda-reaffirming-womens-economic-empowerment

Uganda has taken several steps toward empowering women. For instance, in 1997 the Ugandan government’s first National Gender Policy (NGP) was approved. This groundbreaking policy “increased awareness on gender as a development concern…; influenced… programmes to address gender issues; strengthened parternships for the advancement of gender quality and women’s empowerment and increased impetus in gender activism” (Government of Uganda). The NGP was later revised in 2007 to include more action-oriented plans for fairness and inclusion. Additionally, the government of Uganda recently hosted a meeting of Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development representatives, civil society groups, and invested participants from the both the government and private sector in 2014, which focused on women’s economic empowerment. The attendants made grand suggestions, such as “changing attitudes and opinions about women working outside the home and owning businesses, men actin gin solidarity with women, and one-on-one mentoring programmes for the younger generation” (UN Women). From these examples, one can see that Uganda has made diligent strides toward empowering women through advocacy, collaboration, and political petitioning.

Week 12: Women in the Workforce and Micro-loans

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The official symbol for Millennium Development Goal #3. From http://blogs.civicus.org/civicus/category/women-and-gender/

Women have been marginalized from the workforce because of the historical patriarchy that has existed around the world. In developed countries, a woman’s ability to possess a dual role of both worker and mother is continuously called into question by society. She is constantly asked how she’ll balance her career and motherhood; whereas, her working male partner is never probed about how he’ll manage being a father at the same time. These pressures have often forced women to choose between the two and have furthered women’s marginalization from the workplace. Additionally, in the United States, women are still occupying many of the same jobs they did in the 1970s. Based on Census data, the Huffington Post: Business reports, “It is within the occupational standings where we see the least change in our workforce over the past 40 years. The leading occupations for women in 1970 were secretaries, bookkeepers, and elementary school teachers. In 2006-2010, the leading occupations were secretaries and administrative assistants, cashiers, and elementary and middle school teachers.” Our culture is still dividing careers based upon binary gendered categories.

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A widely recognized symbol for women’s empowerment. From http://imgarcade.com/1/women-empowerment-symbols/

In the developing world, women are seen as the primary caregivers of both infants and the elderly; they are designated as domestic workers; and contribute to the majority of agriculture production. These traditional societal demands prevent countless women from continuing their educations and establishing a career of their own. In Uganda, for example, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations explains that “90 percent of all rural women work in agriculture, compared to 53% of rural men… men are primarily responsible for the marketing side…and women often do not benefit from the sale of their produce.” Moreover, Uganda’s Capacity Program initiated a Ministry of Health Gender Discrimination and Inequality Analysis (GDIA) to determine how gender plays a role within the health workforce. Findings illustrated that there was a “concentration of men at the top of occupational hierarchies and of women at the bottom…men occupied 77% of senior management jobs. Sixty-three percent (63%) of middle management jobs were occupied by men.” The positive news is that the Ministry of Health is now collaborating with the Ministry of Gender, Labor, and Social Development; the Ministry of Public Service; and the Health Service Commission/District Service Commissions in attempt to develop an equal opportunity strategy.

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He For She’s logo. From http://www.unwomen.org/en
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The final four women on the ballot for Women On 20s: Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Wilma Mankiller. From http://www.womenon20s.org/spread-the-word

Spreading awareness is an important strategy to improve these, and many other, forms of gender discrimination. One interesting movement doing this is the Women On 20s project. Its mission is to elevate women to a place that has been entirely reserved for the men who have shaped American history. Also, another change would be do inspire men to support women in their search for equality. For too long the women’s rights movement has been geared solely toward women. The United Nations He For She campaign is a powerful call to men to join in and stand up for equality between the sexes.

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A poster signifying the need to include everyone in the movement for gender equality. From http://val3ntea.tumblr.com/post/37366997997/we-can-all-do-it-by-soirart

It is difficult for me to completely take one side or the other when it comes to whether or not micro-loans improve the self-sufficiency of women in the workforce. On one side there are success stories, such as those discussed in Sheryl Wu Dunn’s TedTalk “Global Oppression of Women.” However, there are also the unintended, unforeseen complications that often manifest. Naila Keeber’s writes Conflicts Over Credit: Re-Evaluating the Empowerment Potential of Loans to Women in Rural Bangladesh, which outlines and evaluates the conflicting opinions on small-scale credit programs for women in developing nations. Overall, Keeber asserts that many of the negative repercussions cited by opponents originate from the intra-household power imbalances between husband and wife. A particular study illustrated that “access to loans did little to change the management of cash within the household for either female or male loanees. Interpreting reports of ‘joint’ management as disguised male dominance I decision-making, the authors concluded that access to loans had done little to empower women.” It seems as though before loans can empower women out in the community, they must first be empowered within the household structure.

Week 11: The Grameen Foundation, Moyo’s Dead Aid Proposal, and the Hindrances of Aid

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The Grameen Foundation’s logo. From http://www.grameenfoundation.org

1. The Grameen Foundation helps connect those living in poor countries who have incredible ideas and ambitions with the resources necessary to proceed and flourish. This organization gives partners access to financial services and information on health and agriculture.

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A graphic for MOTECH- Ghana. From http://alltopstartups.com/2011/10/04/motech-a-mobile-solution-for-maternal-health-care-in-ghana/

In conjunction with the Ghana Health Service, the Grameen Foundation established the Mobile Technology for Community Health (MOTECH) initiative, which aims to improve maternal and neonatal care in rural areas of the country. The partnership designed two mobile phone applications to enhance access to maternal health education and information.

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An image showing the market price information for coffee provided by CKW. From http://ckw.grameenfoundation.org

In Uganda, the Grameen Foundation has worked alongside Village Phone to create the Community Knowledge Worker initiative, which gives smallholder farmers access to accurate, timely agricultural information. Such information helps them safeguard crops, increase yields, and find improved market prices. Thus, the role of this mobile technology is to provide access to previously inaccessible information. With handheld devices, reliable information that improves the health, wellness, and prosperity of the world’s poor can be relayed in a quick, convenient, and cheap way.

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The cover of Moyo’s book, Dead Aid. From http://www.chris-beckett.com/uncategorized/3518/dead-aid-by-dambisa-moyo/

2. In Chapter 10: Making Development Happen of Moyo’s Dead Aid, she discusses three interlinked stages. The first of which is “an economic plan that reduces a country’s reliance on aid year on year” (Moyo, p. 145). Here, she claims that the country’s income from aid can be replaced by many other financing options, such as remittances, trade, FDI, micro-finance, the capital markets, and savings.

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A political cartoon depicting how corruption prevents aid from trickling down to the poorest of the poor. From http://www.africanplato.com/global-corruption-and-africa/

After a particular financing plan is set, the nation must then enforce and stick to the budget. With this, Moyo pays special attention to corruption. Spending beyond its means is unacceptable, and cutbacks must cut back on the non-essential, luxurious, and frivolous items, not education, infrastructure, and health.

Last, Moyo declares institutions must be strengthened in order for the Dead Aid solution to succeed. This comes in the form of accountability, responsibility, and transparency within the private sector.

Additionally, Moyo continues describing how rampant poverty abroad is potentially harmful to the more developed Western world. She declares, “The four horses of Africa’s apocalypse- corruption, disease, poverty and war- can easily ride across international borders, putting Westerners at just as much risk as Africans” (Moyo, p. 151). She also describes marginalized refugees and unbridled immigration, which would undoubtedly burden any Western economy, being repercussions of unchecked global poverty.

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A photo of Andrew Mwenda. From http://www.dagbladet.no/nyheter/2008/05/03/534321.html

3. In his riveting TedTalk “Aid for Africa? No thanks.”, Ugandan journalist Andrew Mwenda eloquently asserts, “We need to reframe the challenge that is facing Africa from a challenge of despair, which is called ‘poverty reduction’, to a challenge of hope… and that is ‘wealth creation’.” The image Western media outlets spew of the large African continent are those of hopelessness, war, which play to the sympathies of potential donors. This, however, locks Africa into a charity state without acknowledging its entrepreneurship, drive, and successes. Additionally, in providing aid in all its forms, such as food shipments, medicine, and peacekeeping, Mwenda declares, “You are treating the symptoms not the causes of Africa’s fundamental problems.” What Africa needs is to develop itself and increase its wealth, not rely outside donations only focused on reducing poverty. Mwenda even says “The ability to take an opportunity and turn it into an advantage depends on internal capacity.”

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A photo of Herman Chinery-Hesse. From http://memeburn.com/2011/05/‘bill-gates-of-africa’-to-speak-at-local-conference/

In this video from Poverty Cure, Herman Chinery-Hesse, a Ghanaian entrepreneur, recounts how international foreign aid was an obstacle for his growing business. For instance, when large NGOs caught wind of his investment (to the NGO the need for a certain service to be performed), it offered the same services to the target population for free. This backlash forced Chinery-Hesse to lay off several staff members. After other similar instances, some of which involving his own government’s actions, he claimed, “Politicians are more interested in a smile on the World Bank country director’s face than in the success of my business.” With donors providing loans and free goods and services, upcoming businesses have no chance of survival. He leaves the viewer of the video saying, “That’s not development. That’s not assistance. That’s thievery.” After hearing his personal accounts, I cannot help but agree.

Week 8: The Reduction of Poverty

Part I

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A political cartoon illustrating the government’s and stakeholders’ obstacle (poverty) to development. From http://www.hakikazi.org/zwp/poverty_in_z.htm

Jeffery Sachs discusses the importance for low-income countries to create poverty reduction strategy plans (PRS), which most developing nations already have created in cooperation with the World Bank and IMF. These plans and papers, Sachs asserts, are ingeniously calculated but continually underfunded. I have chosen to investigate Ghana’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) and Uganda’s Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP).


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Geographical location of Ghana; includes indication of national capital and flag. From http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13433790

From the World Bank’s website, I was able to find a document on for Ghana’s second Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy for 2006-2009. The plan has three strategic pillars: private sector competitiveness, human resource development, and good governance and civic responsibility. The document urges the need for Ghana to sustain macroeconomic stability and named the goal of achieving middle-income status by 2015. Current data from the World Bank denotes Ghana at the “lower middle income” level. Thus, even though progress has been made since then, their broad goal has not been met. Another interesting part of this plan was the discussion of improving fiscal management. The authors proclaim the need to “set out specific policies to ensure long-term debt sustainability; strengthen the debt management capacity; improve the composition of expenditure to provide fiscal space for pro-poor and pro-growth spendings; prioritize expenditure to ensure value for money by subjecting all investment projects to a cost-benefit analysis; and modify foreign-financed projects using the evidence-based decision making framework…” As corruption has played a large role in fund mismanagement, I wonder how this plan might ensure the transparency necessary for achieving the aforementioned goals. Despite its tactical proposals for improvement, one of the plan’s biggest hindrances was the lack of funds to support the suggested projects.

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Geographical location of Uganda; includes indication of national capital and flag. From http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-14107906


Those assessing Uganda’s 2002 Poverty Reduction Strategy mention both the achievements and shortcomings of the plan. For example, “bottlenecks” occurred in areas of income opportunities for the poor, governance and corruption, and the delivery of services- especially health care. What struck me in this report was the acknowledgement of needing to analyze and mitigate the gender dimensions of poverty. The strategy underscores the need to accelerate Uganda’s rate of economic growth, as its GDP fell short of the previously created seven percent growth target. As in Ghana, the plan references a lack of adequate funds to sustain substantial progress.

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An image showing countries’ credit ratings by Standard & Poor’s Foreign Rating- August 2014. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_credit_rating

The capital solution Dambisa Moyo describes in her book, Dead Aid, revolves around the influx of capital from the global market as opposed to aid donations. The bond market, for example, is on the rise. She mentions, “…the point of issuing these bonds to international investors was to help finance their development programmes, including infrastructure, education and healthcare…[the bonds] could, however, be used to fund governments’ day-to-day expenditures…” (Moyo 77). In order for a developing nation to insert itself into this bond market, it must first obtain a credit ranking. According to One World: Nations Online, Zimbabwe has not been rated by Standard & Poor’s agency, likely because its 2011 GDP was 6.127 with a debt in % of that GDP being at 70.3%. Ghana and Uganda, on the other hand, received ratings of B and B+, respectively, making them more attractive to potential investors.

Part II

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An image loosely illustrating foreign investment. From http://www.iamwire.com/2011/11/fdi-impacts-on-indian-e-commerce-are-still-unclear-muralikrishnan-ebay-india-head/1993

In order to receive foreign direct investment (FDI), Moyo declares that countries must improve their infrastructure, as the poor roads, telecommunications, and power supply make production costs soar. Additionally, she asserts that the ever-present corruption and bureaucracy hinders simple business practices, chasing off potential investors: “Though the countries’ livelihoods depend significantly on such entrepreneurs coming in, given the nature of doing business it is hardly surprising that this much-needed investment stays away” (Moyo 100).

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A picture of Dutch ambassador, Gera Sneller. From http://www.thezimbabwean.co/news/zimbabwe-news/71954/dutch-ambassador-urges-govt-to.html

Zimbabwe, despite its favorable geographical location, ample human capital, and enormous mineral wealth, is not an ideal place for investment. In an interview with national news source the Zimbabwe Independent, the Dutch ambassador to Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi Gera Sneller explained that the government’s policy inconsistency and the lack of investment security have been significant obstacles to encouraging investment in Zimbabwe. Additionally, she sites various incidences in which the rule of law was not respected, which has understandably made foreign investors even more hesitant.

Week 7: Dambisa Moyo and Dead Aid

  1. Dambisa Moyo speaking at a TedTalk. From http://www.dambisamoyo.com
    Dambisa Moyo speaking at a TedTalk. From http://www.dambisamoyo.com

    Economist Dambisa Moyo suggests four alternative sources of funding for African economies: 1) follow Asian emerging markets 2) encourage large-scale, direct investment in infrastructure 3) press for genuine free trade of agriculture products 4) support financial intermediation. I believe these are all viable options for bolstering African economies- especially 2) and 3). With improved infrastructure, both internal and external, commerce blossoms. Such increased rate and efficiency of trade can only help the economy of a developing nation. Additionally, if the United States were to remove subsidies on agriculture protecting American farmers, African economies that often significantly depend on agricultural goods will be more competitive and prosperous.

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    A political cartoon demonstrating Cold War rivals USA and USSR attempting to win the balance as they fight for spheres of influence around the world. From http://sites.acjc.edu.sg/wpress/?p=4884

    Moyo describes the history of African aid as being a product of the enthusiasm of the Marshall Plan’s success. She explains, “…it became a widely accepted view that investment capital was critical for economic growth” (Moyo, 13). Additionally, the global polarity between democracy/capitalism and communism that ensued during the wake of the Cold War also sparked aid-action. With nations in Africa becoming independent, both the USA and the USSR funneled financial capital into countries to persuade and support their own agendas.

  1. As explained by the World Health Organization, the Washington Consensus is a set of ten policies that the United States government and international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and IMF, believed to be base-level policy reforms necessary for increasing economic growth. It includes fiscal discipline, public expenditure priorities, tax reform,
    A political cartoon criticizing the tactics of the IMF. From http://cla.calpoly.edu/~lcall/213/outline.week_ten.html
    A political cartoon criticizing the tactics of the IMF. From http://cla.calpoly.edu/~lcall/213/outline.week_ten.html

    financial liberation, exchange rates, trade liberalization, increasing foreign direct investment, privatization, deregulation, securing intellectual property rights, and reducing the role of the state. There has been much criticism of this neo-liberal model. With privatization, for example, companies may ignore social objectives and monopolize the sector, which could lead to outrageous price increases for commodities and services. Additionally, some critics say that free trade actually is not always in the interest of developing economies.

  1. Dambisa Moyo’s website was a great resource in learning about her education and training, experiences, and qualifications. The numerous topics noted as her “Expertise and Interests”
    George Ayittey with a quote from the TEDBlog Q&A. From http://blog.ted.com/ayittey_on_dead_aid/
    George Ayittey with a quote from the TEDBlog Q&A. From http://blog.ted.com/ayittey_on_dead_aid/

    were impressive! Also, readily being able to easily access the information on her publications, any events she’s hosting and/or participating in, and any videos of her talks and speeches made it a perfect source to explore her work. TEDBlog had a wonderfully insightful Q & A Session with economist George Ayittey on Moyo’s work. It was interesting to hear another African-born economist’s take on Moyo’s Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is Another Way for Africa.

  1. “My voice cannot compete with an electric guitar.” –a critic of the aid model. This person felt
    Musician Bono featured in a campaign ad to end poverty. From https://www.pinterest.com/activistjobs/celebrity-activists/
    Musician Bono featured in a campaign ad to end poverty. From https://www.pinterest.com/activistjobs/celebrity-activists/

    as if celebrity activism for the rise of assistance was overshadowing the voices of its opposition. When mentioning why there is little to show for the United States’ $300 billion in aid to Africa since 1970, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame points toward the post-Second World War geopolitical and strategic rivalries of the USA and USSR. As was previously mentioned, these powers strove to assert their interests in emerging independent African nations. What happened, Kagame asserts, is that “much of this aid was spent on creating and sustaining client regimes…with minimal regard to developmental outcomes on our continent” (Moyo, 27). These opinions definitely intrigued me as they stress the allegedly selfish origins of monetary aid. I had never before considered this aspect of aid’s history.

  1. While discussing why aid is not working in Africa, Moyo proclaims that geographical, historical, cultural, tribal and institutional causes play a role, but they fail to capture the entire picture. In considering geographical endowment, Moyo explains that land abundance and natural resources aplenty do not guarantee economic success. For example, oil- and mineral-rich countries Nigeria, Angola, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo dissipated much of their natural wealth through bad investments, thus their economic standing was bleak. A second example she gives smashes the assertion that tribal conflict as a reason for aid’s ineffectiveness: many countries with disparate groups have coexisted peacefully, such as Botswana, Ghana, and Zambia. Ethnic diversity is not an excuse for failed aid. Geographical, historical, cultural, tribal and institutional issues, Moyo says, may in varying degrees in different countries contribute to aid’s unproductivity, but not one factor should condemn Africa to permanent failure.
  1. Chapter 6: A Capital Solution suggests exactly that: a capital solution. One of these is bonds.
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    Depiction of Diaspora Bond (here featuring the Euro). From http://ukzambians.co.uk/home/2013/06/27/india-considers-introduction-of-diaspora-bonds-to-attract-investment-from-nris/

    She explains, “…the point of issuing these bonds to international investors was to help finance their development programmes, including infrastructure, education and healthcare. Monies raised by bonds could, however, also be used to fund governments’ day-to-day (current) expenditures such as on the military, civil service and trade imbalances” (Moyo, 77). She explains that this form of capital lends credibility to the country seeking funds, which will inevitably encourage a larger range of high-quality private investment. It seems as though Zimbabwe is utilizing this form of revenue to fund priority projects such as the Zimbabwe Power Company, TelOne, hydroelectric power plants, Air Zimbabwe, etc.

  1. Jeffery Sachs’ argues that the poverty trap, “perpetuated by disease, physical isolation, climate stress, environmental degradation, and by extreme poverty itself,” is an awful circumstance that prevents nations from even stepping foot on the development ladder (Sachs, 19). Thus, he
    A very simplistic graphic illustrating the poverty trap. From http://threepointeightbillionyears.com/tag/sam-harris/
    A very simplistic graphic illustrating the poverty trap. From http://threepointeightbillionyears.com/tag/sam-harris/

    speaks of “The Big Five” development interventions: agricultural inputs; investments in basic health; investments in education; power, transport, and communications services; and safe drinking water and sanitation (Sachs, 233-234). Moyo’s discussion of “The Silent Killer of Growth” (corruption) shoots a hole in Sachs’ proposal. If the governments receiving the funds are unable to justly and effectively allocate the aid, no progress can be made on Sachs’ propositions. Thus, at the heart of Moyo’s argument for overcoming the poverty trap is for developing nations to create their own wealth. Additionally, Moyo discusses the advantages of China’s involvement in Africa. “…in recent years, China broadened its investment horizons…and people are benefitting from the trickle-down effect of its resource investments- employment, housing and better standards of living…there are now roads where there were no roads, and jobs where there were no jobs” (Moyo, 110). With these improvements comes the climb out of extreme poverty.

Week 6: Foreign Aid

  1. Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) and Common Humanitarian Action Plans (CHAP)
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A diagram of the humanitarian planning process. From Blogspot

From the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), the Consolidated Appeals Process, or CAP, can be used by aid organizations to plan, implement, and monitor their assistance given during crises. Its main focus is to help countries and organizations develop strategic responses and foster strong cooperation among all parties involved.

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The logo of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. From unocha.org.

At the foundation of Consolidated Appeals are Common Humanitarian Action Plans (CHAP). As the name suggests, these outline the humanitarian action given in a particular region or nation. Documented by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Zimbabwe has had 18 total appeals from 2005-2013; 14 of which were Consolidated Appeals and their corresponding mid-year reviews. There were a few special humanitarian response plans, however. In 2008, a Southern African Region Floods Preparedness and Response Plan was issued. Next in 2009, the Zimbabwe Cholera Outbreaks Coordinated Health and WASH Preparedness and Response Operational Plan was launched. The remaining two of the 18 appeals was a 2013 report of Zimbabwe’s Humanitarian Gap and its mid-year review.

  1. Gross National Income (GNI)
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Political map of Zimbabwe. From Ezilon Maps

As Investopedia explains, gross national income (GNI) is the sum of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) plus its net income received from overseas, thus it measures national income received at home and abroad. According to the World Bank, Zimbabwe’s GNI was $860 US dollars as of 2013. Although this figure has been steadily improving for Zimbabwe, it still falls behind the Sub-Saharan average of $1,675.

  1. Official Development Assistance (ODA)
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The logo for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. From oecd.org

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) explains that the aid target of 0.7% of a nation’s gross national income (GNI) partitioned to official development assistance (ODA) has been continually re-endorsed by the international community at aid and development conferences. Thus, this is the pledge, the financial commitment, that Oxfam calls developed countries to meet.

Many countries have given ODA in Zimbabwe. In fact, the net ODA in 2013 was approximately $811 million USD. This is down from about $1 billion USD in 2012. The largest donor is the United Kingdom giving almost $2 million USD. The United States is the next largest at $165, with Global Fund following close behind. 33% of this development assistance is allocated to improving various social infrastructures and services; 26% to health and population; 18% to humanitarian aid. In order of largest to smallest distribution, education and production, multisector, program assistance, other and unallocated/unspecified, and economic infrastructure receive the remaining 23% of the aid.

  1. US Aid
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Pie chart of the United State’s federal budget. From Page 7 of Oxfam’s Foreign Aid 101

According to Oxfam, the United States gave approximately $30 and a half billion in the form of official development assistance (ODA) in 2012. While this seems like an incredibly large amount, this was only about 0.19% of the U.S.’s GNI. This falls quite short to the 0.7% urged by the international community. Foreign aid constitutes less than 1% of the federal budget.

In a downloadable spreadsheet, USAID outlines the major recipient countries and priority program areas. At the top of this list with over $2 billion in aid is Afghanistan. Pakistan follows with less than $1 billion, and Jordan receives about $477 million. The subsequent countries that make up the top ten are, in descending order, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Tanzania. Also, the five most-funded project initiatives include health (receiving nearly $5.5 billion), protection, assistance and solutions, infrastructure, agriculture, and good governance.

  1. Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
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An example of OECD’s commitment to PCD. This is the cover of a book on migration and developing countries. From oecd.org

As OECD explains, Policy Coherence for Development is a tool for integrating the many dimensions development, such as social, economic, governance, and environmental, into a sustainable, cohesive whole on both domestic and international levels. Thus, as the term indicates, it aspires to make foreign relations and transactions as coherent as possible.

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An image advocating for the Open Working Group proposal for Sustainable Development Goals. From the United Nations

This inclusive, sustainable focus reflects the agendas of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Desiring to increase the ease of international cooperation and improve the effectiveness of international development and aid are aspirations both have. Therein lies the two’s connection.