The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs is a must read for the development field. It should be a good place for us to start because it produced strong reactions in the global development community (what doesn’t though), including the foil work by William Easterly, White Man’s Burden.
I have started this book and find Sachs’s writing easy to follow. My understanding is Sachs believes in an aid-centric approach to ending poverty and this emphasis on aid places the responsibility of development largely in the hands of Western institutions.
In his own words (sigh of relief):
“the main argument of my book is that there are certain places on the planet that, because of various circumstances—geographical isolation, burden of disease, climate, or soil—these countries just can’t quite get started. So it’s a matter of helping them get started, whether to grow more food or to fight malaria or to handle recurring droughts. Then, once they’re on the first rung of the ladder of development, they’ll start climbing just like the rest of the world.”
You can read more of that interview with Mother Jones here.
Criticism for Sachs ranges from aid is ineffective to he knows too many famous people. Still, there is no doubt that Sachs has ample experience and knowledge of development economics. This should be an interesting and informative read.
Stay tuned for questions to think about and discuss while reading. Add your own questions below!