In 1996, the World Bank President, James Wolfensohn, declared that his organization would henceforth be 'the knowledge bank'. This marked the beginning of a new discourse of knowledge-based aid, which has spread rapidly across the development field. This book is the first detailed attempt to analyse this new discourse.
Through an examination of four agencies -- the World Bank, the British Department for International Development, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency -- the book explores what this new approach to aid means in both theory and practice. It concludes that too much emphasis has been on developing capacity within agencies rather than addressing the expressed needs of Southern 'partners'. It also questions whether knowledge-based aid leads to greater agency certainty about what constitutes good development.
Kenneth King is Professor of International and Comparative Education and Director of the Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh. He is the author or editor of several books , including 'Aid and Education' and 'Changing International Aid to Education' (edited with Lene Buchert). Simon McGrath has been a research fellow at the Centre of African Studies, and became Research Director at the Human Sciences Research Council in Pretoria, South Africa in October 2002. Both authors have published extensively in African Studies and International Comparative Education and have been researching development cooperation for a number of years.
1. Researching Knowledge-Based Aid 2. The New Aid Agenda 3. Knowledge for Development 4. The World Bank or the Knowledge Bank? 5. From Information Management to Knowledge Sharing: DFID's Unfinished Revolution 6. Knowledge, Learning and Capacity in the Swedish Approach to Development Cooperation 7. Experience, Experts and Knowledge in Japanese Aid Policy and Practice 8. Conclusions and Implications for Knowledge, Aid and Development