The failure [of international aid] is so widespread that pointing the finger at any single organisation is futile. The economists, international organisations and aid donors all had an interest in overselling “solutions” to economic development that were supposedly easy to implement. But there is a multitude of things that one has to get right for economic development, which is why success is rare.
Every component is complementary to every other: equal rights before the law, contract enforcement, stable politics, accountability of public officials, low corruption, trust between market participants and so on. Progress on any one is likely to fail without progress on all.
The best the foreign aid community can do is to support genuine change on those precious occasions when it happens.
Agree or disagree with his point of view, this is a courageous move to denounce what he thought was a profound, systemic failure. There are many anonymous bloggers in the aid industry, no doubt in part because their views and opinions would likely get them fired if they expressed them publicly.
Both within organizations and across the industry, we need to do a better job at creating space for people to be able to speak out, ask questions and discuss failures.