chapter  1
14 Pages

Introduction

In his book titled The W hite Man's Burden: W hy the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest have Done So Much III and So Little Good, Easterly (2006) examines why there have been so few improvements in the lives of poor people, after spending US$2.3 trillion in aid over 50 years. Nearly a decade earlier Kozloff (1995) asked a similar question with regard to bilateral development assistance for renewable electric power. Drawing on lessons from individual assistance projects, he noted that bilateral energy assistance has been erratic over the period 1979-1991 , with renewables (mainly hydro and geothermal projects) constituting only 3% of total bilateral energy assistance. During that period, World Bank records indicate that it was focusing on improving econom ic efficiency and financial stability by encouraging least-cost planning, m arginal-cost pricing, international accounting standards, and in ternational com petitive bidding, and that lending for the power sector in developing countries up until 1991 was about US$40 billion. The World Bank (1993) and Tharakan et al. (2007) noted that during the 1990-1997 period, reductions in official development assistance (ODA) for energy, com bined with reduced private investm ents in energy projects, significantly affected the development of energy resources in developing countries.