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Aid and Development

4. Aid Effectiveness and Aid Critics

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about how aid effectiveness is assessed, and arguments made by critics of aid, focusing in particular on: (i) how aid effectiveness is conceptualised and some challenges associated with assessing aid projects’ effectiveness; (ii) the “great aid debate” between aid radicals who argue that aid should be discontinued and aid reformers; (iii) the arguments of right-wing aid radicals who consider aid to be state interference in the market; (iv) aid radicals on the left who criticise aid for failing to challenge global capitalism and prioritising economic growth over environmental issues.


In this course, Dr Nilima Gulrajani (Overseas Development Institute) explores global aid and its relationship to development. In the first lecture, we consider the emergence of the modern global aid system from mid-twentieth century. In the second lecture, we think about states’ motivations for giving aid and the proliferation of aid providers from the global south. In the third lecture, we look at how aid is defined, focusing especially on the Development Assistance Committee’s definition of Overseas Development Assistance. Next, we focus on aid effectiveness and the debate between aid radicals, who argue that aid should be discontinued, and aid reformers who seek to improve the aid system. In the fifth lecture, we look at aid reform. In the sixth and final lecture, we consider UK aid policy and the global rise of aid nationalism.


Dr Nilima Gulrajani is a Senior Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute. She has written very widely on international development assistance, and her expertise includes the management and governance of aid assistance, aid effectiveness, and principled aid.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Gulrajani, N. (2021, August 23). Aid and Development - Aid Effectiveness and Aid Critics [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Gulrajani, N. "Aid and Development – Aid Effectiveness and Aid Critics." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Aug 2021,

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