Development practice in the sovereign order
Introduction In this chapter we look at how the project of international development actually worked in developing countries themselves. The first part of the chapter looks at some of the problems associated with assessing the impact of aid. These problems are well known but often overlooked in much of the contemporary debate about aid and development, partly because they suggest there are real limits to our knowledge about the impact of aid but also because what knowledge we do have suggests that aid has a very mixed record. Next it examines aggregate aid provision during this period and examines the rather limited evidence for the success and failure of development projects in general. The chapter then turns to the development experience of three sample countries: Ghana, the Philippines and Argentina. For each country we look at their developmental performance over time, aid flows and some World Bank projects. The sample projects give us something simply looking at aggregate flows cannot give us: a real sense of what the project of international development actually looked like on the ground. Projects have been chosen for which there is a detailed description of the project, some kind of evaluation undertaken by the World Bank, and sometimes a significant secondary literature. The chapter concludes by examining how development practice during this period reflects both development theory and the broader sovereign order.