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British aid and the White Paper on International Development: dressing a wolf in sheep's clothing in the emperor's new clothes?

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  • Howard White

    (Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands)

Abstract

The Labour government's new White Paper promises great changes in the British aid programme: re-focusing aid on poverty reduction, partnerships replacing one-sided conditionalities, and policy coherence so that the broad gamut of British policies in areas as diverse as agriculture, trade and investment are in line with the needs of international development. However, the Paper is stronger on broad policy statements than detail as to how to implement these strategies. Moreover, an examination of the history of British aid shows continuity to have been greater than change. Both Labour and Conservative governments have presided over cuts in UK aid, and so instead pointed to the high quality of British aid. But efforts to improve aid quality have been impeded by the use of aid to achieve political and commercial objectives. Whether the White Paper represents a break with the past cannot be determined by the Paper's brave rhetoric, but only by the future actions of the Department for International Development. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Howard White, 1998. "British aid and the White Paper on International Development: dressing a wolf in sheep's clothing in the emperor's new clothes?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 151-166.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:10:y:1998:i:2:p:151-166
    DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1328(199803/04)10:2<151::AID-JID528>3.0.CO;2-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan Whaites, 1998. "The new UK White Paper on International Development: an NGO perspective," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 203-213.
    2. Jo Beall, 1998. "The gender and poverty nexus in the DFID White Paper: opportunity or constraint?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 235-246.
    3. Oliver Morrissey, 1998. "ATP is dead: long live mixed credits," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 247-255.
    4. Tony Killick, 1997. "Principals, Agents And The Failings Of Conditionality," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 483-495.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark McGillivray, 2005. "What determines African bilateral aid receipts?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(8), pages 1003-1018.
    2. Oliveira Cruz, Valeria & McPake, Barbara, 2010. "The "aid contract" and its compensation scheme: A case study of the performance of the Ugandan health sector," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(7), pages 1357-1365, October.

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