Invisible Children

The Successes and Failures of Foreign Assistance

For years, governments, multilateral organizations such as UNICEF, major international nongovernmental organizations and private donors have channeled billions of dollars seeking to alleviate the conditions of poverty, disease, neglect and abuse.  And while much good has been drawn from these efforts, the impact of these investments has been far less than the sum of its parts.  Despite the guidance of collective global initiatives such as the Millennium Development Goals, and the subsequent Sustainable Development Goals, and despite the attention of major actors in international development, millions of children remain untouched by these good intentions.

Invisible Children looks closely at the interventions that have had positive impacts, such as the efforts to curtail infectious diseases and ensure educational access.  The book also examines the structure of these efforts, who designs them, how resources and services are delivered, and where these immense funds ultimately land.   Drawing from the conclusions of analysts, academics and aid practitioners themselves, Invisible Children investigates the best possible avenues for the delivery of aid to the community level where it can have the greatest and most cost-effective impact.

Ch. 4: A Glass Half Full, A Glass Half Empty