IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Billion Dollar Solution that Isn't: How systems modeling in foreign aid could save billions and serve the poor


  • Monika Aring
  • Bobbin Teegarden


Monika Aring and Bobbin Teegarden argue that much of the foreign aid for economic and job growth in poor countries cannot work because the underlying assumption – that outside experts can fix the problem – is misguided. They suggest that aid could achieve far better results if donors could distinguish between two opposite problem archetypes – technical and adaptive systems problems. Technical problems are problems for which societies have already developed solutions that work. Adaptive systems problems are new problems for which a society has not yet developed a sustainable solution. They argue that the lack of jobs to sustain livelihoods is an adaptive systems problem that has to be solved by the system's stakeholders, supported by outside experts.

Suggested Citation

  • Monika Aring & Bobbin Teegarden, 2012. "The Billion Dollar Solution that Isn't: How systems modeling in foreign aid could save billions and serve the poor," Development, Palgrave Macmillan;Society for International Deveopment, vol. 55(1), pages 71-80, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:develp:v:55:y:2012:i:1:p:71-80

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text PDF
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text HTML
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
    2. Roland Benabou, 1993. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 619-652.
    3. A Leyshon & N Thrift, 1996. "Financial exclusion and the shifting boundaries of the financial system," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 28(7), pages 1150-1156, July.
    4. Durlauf, Steven N., 1994. "Spillovers, stratification, and inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 836-845, April.
    5. Quigley John M., 2008. "Compensation and Incentives in the Mortgage Business," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 5(6), pages 1-3, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pal:develp:v:55:y:2012:i:1:p:71-80. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.