On March 2nd 2018, the Liberty Discussion members discussed on the article ‘The Fatal Conceit of Aid Reforms’ by Matt Warner at Gaia Restaurant and Coffee Shop, Thamel.
In this article, the writer has put forward the perspectives of two different schools of thought regarding aid. One school of thought argues that in order to make aid more effective, more transparent, and less vulnerable to criticisms of waste, corruption and harm, reforms should be made in the current mechanism of using aid. Whereas, the other school of thought argues that the economic role of aid agencies and government should be minimised in the developing countries and economic freedom for the individuals should be maximised for a more reliable path to prosperity.
The discussion started with the argument on aid versus no aid where some participants argued that aid is necessary to fill the resource gap in the underdeveloped countries. Other participants disagreed to this argument and asserted that rather than focusing on aid we should focus on bringing in more foreign investment. Some of the discussants maintained that the efficiency of aid is a major question as aid is more focused on donors’ vested interest rather development. Moreover, aid can also distort the market and may force entrepreneurs out of the market. Therefore, the focus should be on finding a substitute of aid. The participants who believed that aid can work if reforms are made pointed that if aid agencies and government collaborate to identify necessities of the people and use aid money to fulfil those necessities without distorting the market, aid can definitely work
The arguments regarding how aid can or cannot distort market, and the substitute of aid couldn’t be discussed due to time constrains. Thus, everyone decided to further the discussion through ‘Liberty discussion group’ in Facebook.