There are many books about aid and development, but most of them either assume a good deal of prior knowledge about the subject, or are written to make the case for or against aid. The first part of this volume is intended to put aid and development into their historical and political context, beginning with the post-World War Two settlement, showing how they have been shaped by that context and in particular by the Cold War and the decolonisation process. It shows how the end of the Cold War led to new development priorities and a new aid compact with a much stronger emphasis on issues like governance, rights and democratisation, beginning with the countries of eastern and central Europe and then more generally. It traces the path by which the reduction of poverty has taken centre-stage as the key objective of aid and development over the past quarter of a century, and looks at priorities for a new set of Sustainable Development Goals that will provide the framework for aid and development efforts for the next 15 years. It looks at the shifting balance of global power, and suggests ways in which international institutions need to adjust to reflect that balance.
The second part is a Compendium of key words and concepts mentioned in Part One, and further background on some of the major international organisations and institutions with a role in aid and development.
Myles Wickstead OBE, was educated at St Andrews' University and New College Oxford. Most of his career has been spent in the Department for International Development and its predecessors and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He coordinated the 1997 White Paper 'Eliminating World Poverty: A Challenge for the 21st Century'; then represented the UK on the Board of the World Bank (and was simultaneously Counsellor, International Development at the British Embassy in Washington); was British Ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti from 2000 to 2004; and was Head of Secretariat to the Commission for Africa from 2004 to 2005. Myles has been Visiting Professor (International Relations) at the Open University since the end of 2005.