Does too much aid lead countries to become aid dependent? Clearly this is a possibility, and one that some aid critics believe is an inevitability. But I wouldn't say that aid is necessarily habit forming. The key issue is whether the aid is sustainable—in other words, whether the recipient country is taking the necessary steps to wean itself off aid over the longer term.
I just recently finished reading James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds, and I've been thinking a lot about how prediction markets could be mainstreamed into the work of development institutions.
Any social media evangelist surely knows the objection all too well: you try to make the case for Web 2.0 and the power of conversations that it enables when someone inevitably comes up with "conversations are all very well, but what about real work? And real impacts?"
Dambisa Moyo is a formidable critic - this much I learned from her presentation at the World Bank earlier this week. Moyo is the author of
Who's the newest aid critic in town? This time it's not another white guy from Oxford (or New York University).