UPDATE: Scott has taken some of your suggestions to improve the chart--Version 2.0 is below. I doubt we need to point out that if you’re about to embark on an aid project to help Africa with no actual knowledge of aid or Africa, the ire of a certain blogging development economist may not be your greatest preoccupation. And we probably also don’t need to mention that developing a simple set of standards (perhaps in the form of a basic decision tree) won’t solve all the many well-documented problems with gifts-in-kind aid.
But who knows, it might help to weed out a few misguided and potentially harmful projects, so…thanks to Scott Gilmore at Peace Dividend Trust for drawing up this handy flowchart:
Print it, laminate it, keep it in your wallet, and rest easy knowing you won’t inadvertently attract the bloodthirsty wrath concerned interest of the aid critics.
Refinements or additions, anyone?
On a related but more serious note, Saundra Schimmelpfennig recently reminded us of an earlier blog post, How to determine if an aid project is a good idea, which is basically a lesson in empathy (“…ask yourself…is this is the type of aid you would want or would something else be more helpful? Would that aid project help solve the real problem or just address a side effect of the real problem? How would that same problem best be solved in your state/neighborhood?”) to help potential individual donors make good funding decisions.