Hahn: Aid Agencies Should Get Closer to Beneficiaries

Get closer to the client. That is Ryan Hahn’s recommendation to address complaints that aid agencies deliver “cookie-cutter” solutions to problems of recipient countries.

Hahn, who manages the World Bank’s “Private Sector Development Blog,” notes criticisms against aid agencies as being “too distant from local contexts,” as staff members from headquarters in rich countries are not able to fully understand the complex realities in developing nations, leading to inappropriate aid strategies.

Hahn proposes selecting three “global hubs” to strengthen country-level presence. But how does one pick the best cities? The author suggests taking into account political stability, living standards, geographical diversity, and knowledge of a “major world language” in the hub. The author’s choices include Singapore, Johannesburg, Istanbul and Brasilia. 

About the author

  • Chiden Balmes

    Chiden, a correspondent based in Seoul, focuses on computer-assisted reporting to provide international development professionals with practical business and career information. He also contributes to the Development Newswire and the Global Development Briefing, two of the world's highest-circulation development publications.