On the wisdom of giving shoes

I’ve written a short piece for Foreign Policy on the problems with giving in-kind aid to Haiti (and to other countries). Regular readers and fellow bloggers will recognise many of the arguments and examples in the piece:

However, cost-effectiveness and the marginalization of local markets are not the only worries. When Clowns Without Borders, an NGO that provides free clown-based services to the poor, lands in Port-au-Prince, the main concern is not the harm they might cause to the Haitian miming industry, but whether flying in imported clowns is an efficient use of resources.

Apologies for the shameless self-promotion.