n Journal of Public Administration - Perspectives on donor aid : quo vadis South African local government?




Donor assistance by developed countries to developing countries is an important feature of international relations. Since the Second World War, Overseas Development Assistance has been a vital instrument used by developed countries to promote their geopolitical and socio-economic interests within the developing nations. Literature abounds with evidence indicating that the process of aid giving and receiving is fraught with contradictions and inconsistencies. Though aid is primarily intended to achieve specific objectives and assist developing countries develop according to the gap theory, developmental theorists have pointed to the systematic effects of the very same aid, which undermines the development of these countries. Thus, the history of aid seems to indicate that it is not necessarily a panacea and a magic wand for development. There are cases where it has succeeded and where it has failed. How the issue of foreign aid is managed and understood within the South African developmental context is a subject for constant debates and policy studies.


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