New book explores “The Future of Aid”

International cooperation has never been more needed, but the current system of “aid” is outdated and ineffective. The Future of Aid by Jonathan Glennie calls for a wholesale restructuring of the aid project and a totally new approach fit for the challenges of the 21st century.

Particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, it is time for a new era of internationalism, and The Future of Aid calls for a series of paradigm shifts:

  • From a narrow focus on poverty to a broader attack on inequality and sustainability.
  • From seeing international public money as a temporary last resort, to valuing it as a permanent force for good.
  • From North-South transfers to a collective effort, with all paying in and all benefitting.
  • From outdated post-colonial institutions to representative decision-making.
  • From the othering and patronizing language of “foreign aid”, to the empowering concept of Global Public Investment.

What are some of the readers of the book saying?


“The Global Public Investment approach is our best bet for modernizing international public finance for the 21st century.”

Rt Hon Helen Clark, Former New Zealand Prime Minister and former UNDP Administrator


“With COVID-19 underlining the inequalities and unsustainability of the current structure of development finance, big new ideas are needed. That is what this book provides.”

Homi Kharas, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution


“I am so excited about this book! It’s the first really inspired take on the changes we need to make in the aid and global development system I’ve seen this year…Rethinking aid as Global Public Investment is critical if we are to secure our undeniably inter-dependent future.”

Lysa John, Secretary-General, Civicus (global alliance of civil society)


“[The] concept of Global Public Investment comes at the right time, when we urgently need new ideas to shape the future of public finance.”

Harpinder Collacott, Executive Director, Development Initiatives


“[Global Public Investment is] a potential rallying point as we plan ahead how to reconstruct the socio-economic fabric after the pandemic.”

Francisco Songane, Former Minister of Health of Mozambique and Founding Director of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health


“This book articulates what many intuitively feel but few say out loud: that aid needs reformed, increased and maintained for the long term. Not charity, but smart investment in a more just and sustainable world.”

David McNair, Executive Director, Global Policy, The ONE Campaign


“Based on scholarly reviews and dialogue, The Future of Aid: Global Public Investment is a demonstration of a rare skill in an academic author; the ability to combine fairly dense ideas with engaging prose to make the text accessible to a broad audience.”

Pascale Allotey, Director, United Nations University International Institute for Global Health

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