Democracy Assistance: What Recipients Think

Issue Date January 2012
Volume 23
Issue 1
Page Numbers 129-37
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Although the efficacy of democracy assistance (DA) has long been the subject of critical debate, there have been few systematic efforts to evaluate the impact of this complex form of foreign aid. How and why has such assistance helped recipients and the organizations that they lead in their efforts to advance democratization in their respective countries? What are the greatest strengths of DA? What are its principal shortcomings? What about the personnel of the international donor agencies and NGOs that provide DA? Are they competent in their dealings with recipients? How knowledgeable are they about the countries in which they work? And most important, what has been the overall impact of DA, both for the individual recipient organizations and at the societal level?

About the Author

Joel D. Barkan is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Iowa and nonresident senior associate with the Africa program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is the author of the 2011 CSIS report “Kenya: Assessing Risks to Stability.”

View all work by Joel D. Barkan