MATT WARNER

NEWS + ANALYSIS

ALTERNATIVES TO THE NEW SCIENTISM IN DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS

December 9, 2019 | by Matt Warner

When Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo were announced as two of this year’s Nobel Prize winners, it prompted a fresh flurry of public critiques of their work in development economics. From voices as diverse as Oxfam’s Duncan Green and Marginal Revolution’s Alex Tabarrok, many economists and aid experts have cautioned against pinning all our poverty reduction hopes on their findings.

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WHAT TRUMP’S FOREIGN AID FIGHT CAN TEACH US

August 27, 2019 | by Matt Warner

Last week Trump backed down from his controversial threat to cut billions in unused foreign aid funding. The news, no doubt, came as a huge relief to the more than 90 aid organizations that had joined together to urge him to reconsider. Sam Worthington, president, and CEO of InterAction, an alliance of more than 180 international NGOs, had even considered suing the White House but worried the move would ignite political divisions and renew calls to defund the “aid industrial complex.”

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THE DIMINISHING ROLE OF THE WORLD BANK: HOW LOCAL THINK TANKS ARE LEADING THE POVERTY FIGHT

February 7, 2019 | by Matt Warner

News that the World Bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim, is calling it quits to join the private sector has heightened the debate over what to do about foreign aid inefficacy. Kim made clear in an email to staff that, in his view, the “massive development finance gap” in low-income countries is best addressed by private investment. Kim’s likely successor, David Malpass, shares this view and has gone on record describing the World Bank’s financing approach as outdated due to increases in private capital available to developing countries.

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CAN THINK TANKS SUCCEED WHERE FOREIGN AID HAS FAILED?

January 25, 2019 | by Matt Warner

In Ruhiira, Uganda, an international aid project once offered villagers $300,000 to grow maize instead of matoke, a banana-like starch. Maize, the aid experts reasoned, was better to farm because it is nutritious, drought-resistant, and produces high yields. The experts were right. At harvest time, the villagers found themselves with a bumper crop of 3,840 tons of maize.

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CHOOSING A BIGGER POND: WHY NONPROFIT LEADERS NEED A GLOBAL NETWORK

August 10, 2018 | by Matt Warner

Without profit motive, can nonprofit leaders be as innovative and successful as their profit-seeking counterparts? As it turns out, there’s a type of motivation that transcends the drive for profit and it can influence the behavior of nonprofit leaders towards improving results as well. It’s called social comparison—and research shows it can be even more powerful than money.

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GETTING BEYOND THE NONPROFIT PLATEAU: START WITH A TEAM PERFORMANCE TUNE-UP

June 22, 2018 | by Matt Warner

Good teams can hit a wall. Despite talented people and no shortage of hard work, sometimes the rate at which results have been eclipsing previous benchmarks starts to slow down. Sound familiar? I’m talking about the puzzling plateau that frustrates not because anything is really going wrong. It’s because the level of success has remained stubbornly bounded by some imaginary wall.

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