An appeal to aid specialists



Publication Details

Horton, K. J. 2010, 'An appeal to aid specialists', Development Policy Review, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 27-42.


The appeal I am making is (roughly speaking) for aid specialists to do more to help thoseof us who aren¿t aid specialists to arrive at judgements about the effects of the work of(voluntary) aid agencies that we have at least some reason to think accurate. In §1, I say alittle about why it is difficult for us to form such judgements at present. In §2, I argue thatthe fact that it is so difficult for us to do so has certain negative consequences, especiallyif the effects of (at least some of) the work aid agencies do are in fact good enough toimply that we should give to them. These negative consequences give those who are in aposition to make it easier for us to arrive at such judgements strong reasons to do so. In§3, I argue that there are certain measures that aid specialists in particular are in a goodposition to take that would make it easier for us to arrive at such judgements. Hence myappeal to aid specialists to take such measures. In §4, I articulate and respond to a numberof objections that might be made to my argument. I finish, in §5, with a brief review.

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