Research featured in The Economist

  • Brad Parks
    Brad Parks
    Parks is the co-executive director of the AidData Center for Development Policy. He is a member of the Class of 2003. The center is an outgrowth of his undergraduate honor thesis.
    Stephen Salpukas

A report written  by Zach Rice and Brad Parks, co-executive director of William & Mary’s AidData Center for Development Policy, was featured in a March 2 article in The Economist.

The article, “Conditional Aid: Carrots all around – A controversial approach to helping poor countries seems to work after all,” looked at some of the pros and cons of various aid programs including merit and conditional (like Millennium Challenge Corporation or MCC) programs.

The piece made special note of a center report that found poor countries “want more conditionality, not less, and that incentives encourage governments to reform.” The report, released in February, was based on a survey of 640 policymakers and practitioners in 100 developing countries.aiddata logo

And while that report found conditional aid working, The Economist wrote that Parks “agrees that other forms of aid, such as emergency relief, are still needed” but that “MCC’s method is ‘an extraordinary bargain’… it promotes reform in poor countries even before any money is spent.”

AidData is a collaborative initiative that makes aid information more accessible and usable to a wide range of stakeholders and creates tools that enable users to more effectively target, coordinate, deliver and evaluate aid. William & Mary, Brigham Young University, and Development Gateway are the institutional members of the AidData partnership.

In November 2012, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) chose William & Mary to lead a five-year, $25-million award to create the AidData Center for Development Policy. The award, the largest single award in W&M history, is a part of USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network program.