Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


Despite the fact that foreign aid has been around in its present form since World War II, foreign aid analysis, especially from the donor's point of view, has been and continues to be highly contested. In 1992, the United Nations claimed that "ODA [Official Development Assistance] allocation is 'strange and arbitrary'" and "ODA is determined not by the needs of developing countries, but by the fluctuating goodwill of the people and their parliaments in the rich countries. As a result, it is largely ad hoc and unpredictable" (United Nations Development Programme, 45). This statement cannot, however, explain why Africa is consistently the world's most aided region (Lancaster, 487). Something about African countries continually appeals to the donor countries, meaning that ODA allocation is not as strange and arbitrary as the UN claimed. This begs the question: What motivates donor countries to give aid to countries in Africa?