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“consider a poor person in the countryside of Tanzania who wants to get a pothole repaired in front of his house. … If IBRD, IMF, UNDP, FAO, WTO, EU, WHO, AfDB, DFID, and USAID approve the PRSP and release new funds to the national government, then the government will allocate the money in accordance with the MTEF, PER, CDF, PRGF, PRSC, and PRSP, after which the money will pass through the provincial governments and the district governments, and the district government may or may not repair the pothole in front of the poor person’s house.” (Easterly, 2006, pp.173 & 175)

Yes, I’m still reading William Easterly’s The White Man’s Burden. And, yes, it still makes a great deal more sense than the above paragraph might suggest. Alternatively (changing my spectacles) it in fact makes sense in exactly the way that the above paragraph might suggest. (The chapter is entitled, unsurprisingly, ‘The Rich Have Markets, the Poor Have Bureaucrats’.)


Easterly, W. (2006). The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s efforts to aid the rest have done so much ill and so little good. New York: The Penguin Press. ISBN: 1594200378. [Amazon]

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