The Lean Years: Austerity’s Challenges and Opportunities for Development

The Lean Years: Austerity’s Challenges and Opportunities for Development

With economic turmoil in Europe and concerns over budget deficits and debt in the United States, public spending is receiving heightened scrutiny in major foreign assistance donor countries. Austerity has become the preferred route for many of them, leading the development community to wonder how austerity will affect development and how long this period will last.

Austerity in donor countries is already affecting development in a number of critical ways. It is reducing levels of foreign assistance overall and prompting many donors to re-evaluate their aid programs and development strategies. This period will also likely see greater importance for the role of nontraditional and emerging donors as well as a reliance on the private sector as an engine of growth. With both the quantity and quality of aid under pressure, it is more important than ever for both donors and recipients to find new ways of operating.

While austerity poses challenges for donors and recipients alike, it also creates opportunities. Decreased funding will challenge donors to increase aid effectiveness, cooperate with existing and new donors, and find new approaches. At the same time, it offers opportunities to improve the quality of aid and to deepen the spirit of partnership that is emerging among donor and recipient countries. It could also result in developing countries further taking the reins of their own development.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review