Tsunami Response

Financial Times writes (subscription necessary) about a report by the Tsunami Evaluation Coalition, a grouping of 40 charities and development agencies established to monitor the tsunami response.

The report’s authors wrote pointedly that the “generous funding” available for tsunami response meant the “humanitarian industry” was “deprived of its customary excuse for built-in systemic shortcomings”. Moreover, many of the systemic shortcomings listed had been identified as much as a decade ago, in the aftermath of the international response to the slaughter in Rwanda…

The issue in Ache is at least partly that the funds generated by the huge public response to the disaster prompted many agencies to embark on projects they had little expertise in…”No one had ever heard of the Red Cross construction company before, or of the Concern construction company…Those are aid agencies!”…

After spending more than $2 million on 571 homes, Save the Children discovered problems that meant 371 had to be torn down…

In a September report, the World Bank warned that local governments were spending too much new-found wealth on flashy new offices and not enough on infrastructure.

The aid industry is an industry with serious problems with incentives and accountability. Remember Easterly‘s CIAO? Customer feedback, Incentives, Accountability, and, therefore, good Outcomes.

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