The Best of Aid: Guiding the Movement Lant Pritchett At The Best and Worst of Aid:  Accountability, Incentives, and Effect...
 
 
Capabilities, Functionings, Utility, Well-being, Happiness, Life Satisfaction (Dimensions and Valuations) Human  Developme...
The Challenges of a Movement <ul><li>Maintaining the core </li></ul><ul><li>Allowing for transformational excellence </li>...
Economics  as a Craft <ul><li>Robert Solow (roughly):  Graduate student papers are the equivalent of child violin recitals...
Well-being gains from the 1990s reforms in India exceed the previous 20 years of aid, plausibly by an order of magnitude  ...
Did Aid Contribute to Reform? <ul><li>Not directly as conditionality. </li></ul><ul><li>But… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy ...
Any of a number of reform initiated growth episodes could,  by themselves  justify decades of the entire endeavor of aid  ...
Orthodox Principles, Heterodox Implementations <ul><li>Successful growth episodes involve the expansion of orthodox princi...
The  Achievements  of the best of aid look the  Conditions  of the worst of aid Every Hollywood movie has the same plot: a...
The  Achievements  of the best of aid look the  Conditions  of the worst of aid Every Hollywood movie has the same plot: a...
Isomorphic Mimicry: Which is a bee, which is a fly looking like a bee?
The worst of aid encourages isomorphic mimicry to thrive as a viable organizational strategy Space for novelty (E)Valuatio...
The worst of aid encourages isomorphic mimicry to thrive as a viable organizational strategy Space for novelty (E)Valuatio...
Fighting against our baby ontology to focus on properties of complex adaptive systems: allowing success to emerge Space fo...
Fighting against our baby ontology to focus on properties of complex adaptive systems: allowing success to emerge Space fo...
Best Aid:  SSA? <ul><li>Program from central to state governments  </li></ul><ul><li>Huge support from World Bank, Dfid </...
But….Rocky or Rocky VI? <ul><li>Learning levels remain abysmally low, and are not increasing (over five years) </li></ul><...
Worst of Aid:  ASER/EI? <ul><li>ASER: nationwide, district representative, testing of simple reading and math competencies...
ASER/EI as the Best of Aid <ul><li>Have, with amazingly few resources, completely changed the discourse about schooling in...
“We few, we happy few…” <ul><li>Core principles (open structured systems pressured on performance)--heterodox implementati...
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Lant Pritchett: The Best of Aid

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Lant Pritchett: The Best of Aid

  1. 1. The Best of Aid: Guiding the Movement Lant Pritchett At The Best and Worst of Aid: Accountability, Incentives, and Effectiveness March 5, 2010
  2. 4. Capabilities, Functionings, Utility, Well-being, Happiness, Life Satisfaction (Dimensions and Valuations) Human Development Smallest unit of Analysis: Individual Development Polity Economy Administration Social Smallest unit of Analysis: “Nation” Economy, Organization, Society, H0: Tightly Causally Connected
  3. 5. The Challenges of a Movement <ul><li>Maintaining the core </li></ul><ul><li>Allowing for transformational excellence </li></ul>
  4. 6. Economics as a Craft <ul><li>Robert Solow (roughly): Graduate student papers are the equivalent of child violin recitals, not interesting for what the produce but for what they promise. </li></ul><ul><li>Paul Krugman (roughly): The production of the thousands of boring, unread, uncited, academic papers exists just to give heft to the economist at the policy table. All of academic economics existence can be justified if all it produces is 1 percent of GDP welfare gain from freer trade in the USA (120 billion vs 2.5 billion) </li></ul>
  5. 7. Well-being gains from the 1990s reforms in India exceed the previous 20 years of aid, plausibly by an order of magnitude Cumulative aid, 1970-1990: ~1 trillion US GDP 12 trillion Counter-factual “without reform” growth rate Gains from post-reform growth (relative to counter-factual) adjusted to OECD marginal utility in trillions $113.49 $202.47 1/y^2 $11.57 $20.63 1/y $1.18 $2.10 Constant 2% 0% Marginal utility:
  6. 8. Did Aid Contribute to Reform? <ul><li>Not directly as conditionality. </li></ul><ul><li>But… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy makers with international exposure coming and going from multi-laterals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Influential studies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting alternative views within India for decades (one independent view on the economy) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contributions of specific information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supporting domestic think tanks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Just being the fat part of the pyramid </li></ul></ul>
  7. 9. Any of a number of reform initiated growth episodes could, by themselves justify decades of the entire endeavor of aid Widjojo, the Indonesian economist Total gains in trillions Gains with log Utility (2 ppa) Relative to Counter-factual growth rate of: Growth Episode 1.68 0.15 0.21 1986-2007 Vietnam 5.91 0.70 1.22 1966-2007 Indonesia 2 ppa 0 Country
  8. 10. Orthodox Principles, Heterodox Implementations <ul><li>Successful growth episodes involve the expansion of orthodox principles of generating prosperity (incentives, security of claims, space for innovation and ecological learning) </li></ul><ul><li>But… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Domestically driven and adapted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often heterodox implementations (marginal, incremental, adaptive) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 11. The Achievements of the best of aid look the Conditions of the worst of aid Every Hollywood movie has the same plot: a sympathetic character overcomes increasingly difficult obstacles to achieve their final objective William Goldman
  10. 12. The Achievements of the best of aid look the Conditions of the worst of aid Every Hollywood movie has the same plot: a sympathetic character overcomes increasingly difficult obstacles to achieve their final objective William Goldman The problem wasn’t that Rocky had the same plot as all other Hollywood movies, it was the inauthentic repetition
  11. 13. Isomorphic Mimicry: Which is a bee, which is a fly looking like a bee?
  12. 14. The worst of aid encourages isomorphic mimicry to thrive as a viable organizational strategy Space for novelty (E)Valuation of novelty Legitimation Leadership Front-line worker use of capacity Open Functionality Demonstrated Success Wealth Creation Concerned Flexibility Closed Agenda promotion Isomorphic mimicry Rent Seeking/ Distribution Compliance Agents (leaders, managers, Front-line workers Organizations (firms, ministries, NGOs) System Characteristics
  13. 15. The worst of aid encourages isomorphic mimicry to thrive as a viable organizational strategy Space for novelty (E)Valuation of novelty Legitimation Leadership Front-line worker use of capacity Open Functionality Demonstrated Success Wealth Creation Concerned Flexibility Closed Agenda promotion Isomorphic mimicry Rent Seeking/ Distribution Compliance Agents (leaders, managers, Front-line workers Organizations (firms, ministries, NGOs) System Characteristics Big Development: Closing Space, Promoting External Agendas, Rewarding Inauthentic BAU Small Development: Against the system Creates Innovative Small Scale Success Allows dysfunctional Programs, policies, Organizations to thrive Without systemic Changes this remains Localized and effervescent
  14. 16. Fighting against our baby ontology to focus on properties of complex adaptive systems: allowing success to emerge Space for novelty (E)Valuation of novelty Legitimation Leadership Front-line worker use of capacity Open Functionality Demonstrated Success Wealth Creation Concerned Flexibility Closed Agenda promotion Isomorphic mimicry Rent Seeking/ Distribution Compliance Agents (leaders, managers, Front-line workers Organizations (firms, ministries, NGOs) System Characteristics
  15. 17. Fighting against our baby ontology to focus on properties of complex adaptive systems: allowing success to emerge Space for novelty (E)Valuation of novelty Legitimation Leadership Front-line worker use of capacity Open Functionality Demonstrated Success Wealth Creation Concerned Flexibility Closed Agenda promotion Isomorphic mimicry Rent Seeking/ Distribution Compliance Agents (leaders, managers, Front-line workers Organizations (firms, ministries, NGOs) System Characteristics Markets succeed by creating Conditions for ecological learning Through Creative Destruction And then Allowing Emergent Properties of Complex Adaptive Systems to Emerge Pull systems this way Allow this to emerge
  16. 18. Best Aid: SSA? <ul><li>Program from central to state governments </li></ul><ul><li>Huge support from World Bank, Dfid </li></ul><ul><li>Built schools, hired teachers (mainly) </li></ul><ul><li>Had components for deconcentration and marginal groups and innovation </li></ul><ul><li>“ state of the art” design </li></ul><ul><li>Spent the money, substantially expanding education budgets </li></ul><ul><li>Met most physical implementation targets </li></ul><ul><li>Enrollments did increase </li></ul><ul><li>India on way to meeting MDG for universal primary completion </li></ul>
  17. 19. But….Rocky or Rocky VI? <ul><li>Learning levels remain abysmally low, and are not increasing (over five years) </li></ul><ul><li>Entrenched “perfect storm” among teachers (high pay, low performance, disillusioned teachers) persist (PROBE repeat) </li></ul><ul><li>Not a single piece of evidence that SSA caused increased enrollments (in many states total public school enrollment fell). </li></ul><ul><li>Few (any) scaled innovations emerge </li></ul>
  18. 20. Worst of Aid: ASER/EI? <ul><li>ASER: nationwide, district representative, testing of simple reading and math competencies using local partners </li></ul><ul><li>EI: Sophisticated testing with techniques for feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t teach a single child </li></ul><ul><li>Not clear what exactly to do in response </li></ul><ul><li>Aren’t rigorous evaluations of “solutions” that could be scaled </li></ul>
  19. 21. ASER/EI as the Best of Aid <ul><li>Have, with amazingly few resources, completely changed the discourse about schooling in India </li></ul><ul><li>Are creating pressure for defining success in functional terms where isomorphism doesn’t trump </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate the emergence of lots of solutions: “vouchers”, low cost franchises, remedial programs, innovations in the public sector (learning for all) </li></ul><ul><li>By demonstrating the failure/slow progress of BAU open up the space for innovation </li></ul>
  20. 22. “We few, we happy few…” <ul><li>Core principles (open structured systems pressured on performance)--heterodox implementation that avoid baby ontology to allow solutions to emerge as reification of good struggles </li></ul><ul><li>Free up aid from either complacency or narrow accountability to make more transformational successes possible </li></ul>

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