5/19 Lunch: Bruce Bolnick, Chief Economist, International Group, Nathan Associates

Programming for Growth:  The Economic Impact of Foreign Aid

Does foreign aid deliver value for money in promoting economic growth and improving well being for people in developing countries?

This question is a source of endless debate.  In this presentation, Dr. Bolnick will first discuss the importance of growth for poverty reduction and human welfare in low-income countries—itself a source of controversy—and quickly review the (indecisive) empirical literature on aid and growth. The talk will then focus on the impact and effectiveness of USAID’s economic growth (EG) programs, based on a recent review of the available evidence.

The presentation is adapted from a series of Briefing Notes on Programming for Growth, which Nathan Associates produced for the Economic Growth Office at USAID last year, led by Dr. Bolnick. The Briefing Notes were designed as a contribution to the recurrent discussions about aid effectiveness and development priorities for the foreign aid program.  The full series can be accessed at: http://www.countrycompass.com/policy_briefs.php

UPDATE: Slides from the talk may be downloaded here: Bolnick-SGE-NEC Presentation May 2011