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Planners vs. Searchers in African Agricultural Aid

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  • William Easterly

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • William Easterly, 2008. "Planners vs. Searchers in African Agricultural Aid," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 3, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0088
    as

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    File URL: http://www.francoangeli.it/riviste/Scheda_Riviste.asp?IDArticolo=35297&Tipo=ArticoloPDF
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreign Aid; Role of International Organisation; Agriculture;

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General

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