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Smart Aid for African Development

Richard Joseph and Alexandra Gillies, editors
Smart Aid for African Development
ISBN: 978-1-58826-606-4
ISBN: 978-1-58826-632-3
2008/306 pages/LC: 2008021831

"Provide[s] succinct and sophisticated analyses of several of the most important contemporary innovations in aid practice."—David Black, African Studies Review

"A consistently excellent collection of essays."—Nicolas van de Walle, Foreign Affairs

"Timely and compelling.... Rigorous analysis, like that in this book, is showing that the traditional aid approaches have not worked, and that strong institutions and powerful and coordinated incentives are needed to change—no, to transform—embedded patterns.... [The authors] offer serious glimmers of hope that we may be arriving at an understanding of what is necessary to bring about that transformation."—Larry Diamond, Stanford University


Despite hundreds of billions of dollars spent on foreign aid to sub-Saharan Africa, a sure path to growth and development has not yet been found—and each new heralded approach has crumbled amid regrets and recriminations.

The authors of Smart Aid for African Development provide critical assessments of the main components of foreign assistance, considering how smarter use can be made of available resources to advance growth and democracy, rebuild war-torn societies, and reduce the crippling poverty that underlies many of the continent’s fierce conflicts.


Richard Joseph is John Evans Professor of International History and Politics at Northwestern University. Alexandra Gillies is head of governance programs at the Revenue Watch Institute.


  • Foreword—Larry Diamond.
  • Smart Aid: The Search for Transformative Strategies—the Editors.
  • Donors and the Delivery of Aid.
  • More Aid or Smarter Aid? Donors, Governance, and Accountability—P. de Renzio.
  • How Smart Are Aid Donors? The Case of the US—C. Lancaster.
  • The Commission for Africa: Assessing the Approach—V.L. Derryck.
  • Evaluating Strategies for Aid and Debt Relief.
  • Rethinking Budget Support for Africa: A Political Economy Perspective—J. Barkan.
  • The Search for Smart Debt Relief: Questions of When and How Much—T.M. Callaghy.
  • Donor Policies in Practice:  The Challenges of Poverty Reduction and Aid Effectiveness—I. Hopwood.
  • Economic Reforms and Development Assistance in Postconflict Liberia—J.F.E. Ohiorhenuan.
  • The Challenges of Promoting Good Governance and Democracy.
  •  Rethinking Anticorruption Efforts in Liberia—W. Reno.
  • Beyond the Political Economy of Corruption: The Kenyan Challenge—P.A. Nyong’o.
  • Voters But Not Yet Citizens: Democratization and Development Aid—M. Bratton and C. Logan.
  • Democratizing Donor–Civil Society Relations: Evidence from Governance Programs in Nigeria—D. Kew.
  • Africa After Gleneagles: Overcoming Misrule and Stalled Development—R. Joseph.
  • Conclusion.
  • Aid, Transformation, and Growth in Africa—the Editors.