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Aid and Development

2. Why Do States Provide Aid?

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about why states give overseas aid, focusing in particular on: (i) the relationship between altruism and strategic self-interest in states’ decisions; (ii) the emergence of donorship as something desirable for states in the global north and the creation of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in 1960; (iii) the growing trend of states in the global south providing aid to other southern states and the distinction between a northern “donor” and a southern “provider” of aid; (iv) potential concerns regarding the proliferation of southern aid providers.


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 - Why Do States Provide Aid? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Gulrajani, N. "Aid and Development – Why Do States Provide Aid?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Aug 2021,

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