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Planners vs. Searchers in African Agricultural Aid

  • William Easterly

A Planner vs. Searcher paradigm is used to illustrate the lack of positive progress in aid to African agriculture. Planners announce good intentions, raise expectations, but take on no responsibility in meeting them; they determine what to supply, apply global blueprints but lack knowledge of the basics. Searchers find out what the reality is at bottom, find out what is in demand, find things that work, and accept responsibility for their actions. The prevalent approach in African Agricultural aid has been that of the Planners, but the ambitious agricultural development plans advocated have largely failed. Aid agencies could play a much more helpful role by working as Searchers rather than Planners, which means trial and error experimentation, rigorous independent evaluation, and drawing on local knowledge rather than presuming that the answers coming from outside are the best.

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Article provided by Associazione Rossi Doria in its journal QA.

Volume (Year): (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0088
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  1. Kane, Samuel & Eicher, Carl K., 2004. "Foreign Aid And The African Farmer," Staff Papers 11602, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  2. World Bank, 2003. "Reaching the Rural Poor : A Renewed Strategy for Rural Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14084.
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