P & R Vol.2 Issue 3
Talk with Experts III
Publication Year : 2021
Author: Samia Altaf

Q. You wrote a book “So Much Aid, So Little Development: Stories from Pakistan”. Can you please briefly shed a light on why is it so that development is not happening despite having billions of dollars in aid?
A. My experience in working in most areas of the health care/medical care/population welfare industry in and out of Pakistan, has made me understand that the current model of development, while it has worked in many other countries, has failed in Pakistan and is not likely to succeed in future. The reasons for its failure are complex, multi-layered and chronic, as I try to describe in my book. Briefly, the main factor is, it is the wrong model for a country like Pakistan. The model is based on false assumptions. The model assumes, one this side, that 1) Leadership is genuinely interested in bringing about development to improve the life of citizens. 2) Policy makers represent the people and are answerable to them and 3) Technical advisors have the required competencies. On the other side it is assumed that 1) Donors’ objective is actually improvement of services in developing countries. US government clearly articulates the goal of its assistance its foreign policy strategy. UK government has recently reorganized its development wing on same lines. 2) They, donor staff have knowledge of country, 3) Have the required competencies. In my book, So Much Aid; So Little Development I show that the reality is totally the opposite. By the way, an updated version of this book is coming out in Urdu in next couple of months.