The fungible and the furious

New, unpleasant information requires careful analysis, not knee-jerk reactions

Last week the medical journal Lancet released an article suggesting that, on average, governments that receive more  health aid divert tend to shift domestic resources away from health.

The paper made some headlines and upset aid critics and much of the global health community. A part of this has to do with a misunderstanding of what the findings mean – a confusion which isn’t helped by  those that propagate incorrect and sensationalist interpretations of the study.

However, a lot of the anger over the results comes from those that do understand the implications of the study, but are angered by an apparent divergence in priorities between the global health community and recipient governments. Both Ranil and Owen Barder talk about this in more detail, although I’ll go through some similar arguments.

These are my scattered thoughts on the whole issue.

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