The Main Reason I.D.O.’s Love Fewer “Big Aid” Goals – Jeremiah Landin

From the point of view of an international development organization, setting a limited number of ‘Big Aid’ Goals such as the Millennium Development Goals can have enormous benefits. These goals, although being harder to attain, lead to a greater long term future for the organizations as well as the developing countries. As I will detail in the following paragraph, the benefits of having a limited number of development goals far outweigh trying to address all of the issues of development at once.

The main benefit of limiting the number of ‘Big Aid’ goals is that the limited number provides an International Development Organization with a more focused agenda from which to target issues. The reason that this is a good thing is that it allows these organizations to not only convince a wider range of countries to contribute funds, but also for every development goal that is reached due in part to the efforts of the organization, the organization gains credibility among donor states. Credibility on the international stage in the field of economics carries with it leverage and influence to convince other states to become contributors to development funds. As these few but large victories accrue, more money can be pulled in to help bring in other larger goals, allowing the list to expand. For successful International Development Organizations, it is a matter of quality over quantity that carries the day.

– Jeremiah Landin


2 thoughts on “The Main Reason I.D.O.’s Love Fewer “Big Aid” Goals – Jeremiah Landin”

  1. Jeremiah, as your closing sentence had stated that it is “quality over quantity that carries the day” in regards to the success of International Development Organizations, this is true for more reasons that you did not necessarily touch upon. When looking at those who influence the amount of money that goes into an organization such as the World Bank, it can be argued the constant battle between the donors and the borrowers is over the loan conditions. They strife not over how much money is being exchanged (though that argument does sometime arise), they fight over the conditions that are attached to the money.Additionally, other points of successes can been seen through the efficient division of labor that ties in nicely with the other successes that you mentioned for I.D.Os.


  2. Interesting analysis! I think what you say about limiting and focusing in on more specific goals applies to what we talked about in class regarding the parallel structure of the international aid regime. The benefits to limiting the undertaking of “big aid” goals by institutions also applies to the division of tasks among international development organizations.
    As you explain, the ability to target concrete issues produce better results that improve the agency’s credibility and, therefore, support in funding. I generally have one concern with this model, however. With specific targets, there is the potential for organizations to use indicators and report results in such a way as to make the goal seem reached in order to maintain credibility. Also, focusing on singular issues in development often distracts from related issues and may produce negative impacts for other areas.
    For these reasons, the benefits and drawbacks to an inclusive, hierarchical structure should be considered as well. When it comes to the practical implementation of projects, which structure would be best for aid recipients? Would an overarching or area-specific organization be the most efficient and deliver the best results? In this debate, I agree with your analysis.


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