Going Beyond Averages: Data, development aid and context
Published: March 2013
One of the persistent, unresolved controversies of economic development is the effectiveness of development assistance – whether foreign aid contributes to economic development. This article argues that this controversy is largely an artefact of a methodology that focuses on the ‘averages’ and pays inadequate attention to the specific characteristics of individual societies. For enhancing aid effectiveness, one needs to discard the one-size-fits-all approach, and adopt a more nuanced, tailor-made strategy based on a comprehensive understanding of specific countries.