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Workers produce clothing items on the assembly line at an apparel factory in Accra, Ghana, 2007 Workers produce clothing items on the assembly line at an apparel factory in Accra, Ghana, Nov. 13, 2007 (AP photo by Olivier Asselin).

Innovation, Not Development Aid, Is the Key to Tackling Poverty

Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021

The modern development aid industry is fundamentally flawed, writer and researcher Efosa Ojomo argues, because it is based on “the idea of seeing a need, seeing that a community lacks a resource, and then leaning in with the best of intentions to provide that resource without the fundamental mechanism that will sustain it.” That mechanism is what Ojomo and his co-authors call a “market-creating innovation”—an advance that spurs the creation of new businesses, customers and tax revenues that allow for improved public services.

Ojomo is the head of the Global Prosperity research group at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, and a co-author of “The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty.” He joined WPR’s Elliot Waldman on the Trend Lines podcast this week. ...

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