Man, I was supposed to talk about this soooo long ago. Fantastic book that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you’ve ever heard Bono’s schpiel about dropping the dept for african countries, the fight agains AIDS, etc. Jeffrey D. Sachs is the guy behind much of his thinking and his theories are based on real world experience through years of consulting with many developing countries.
Sachs has developed a framework for analyzing the needs of country holistically, in a way similar to diagnosing a person. Instead of uniform “solutions” offered by the World Banks and others, he believes in reviewing exactly where the country is in terms of development, what is their unique situation, what causes the problems they are facing and in finding appropriate solutions.
He believes that if we concentrate on helping third world countries reach the first rung in the ladder of economic development they can then help themselves and rapidly gain a much better foothold in the world economy. By focusing on the problems those countries face and offering well tailored solutions as well as by finally giving the money we’ve been promising for years (not giving more, just delivering on promises) we can end extreme poverty by 2015.
Sounds like an enormous challenge, and it is but by reviewing with us his experiences in Bolivia, Poland, Russia, China and India and by debunking misconceptions and putting a variety of numbers in context, he present a doable path to success. If we only start doing our part honestly in helping the less fortunate.