Winds of Change: New Ideas in International Development

Apr 17, 2007Apr 19, 2007
B-339 Rayburn House Office Building


Session One: Tuesday, April 17th
Private-Public Partnerships
Karol Boudreaux
Mercatus Center 

View Ms. Boudreaux's powerpoint presentation.

Session Two: Wednesday, April 18th
Micro-finance in Developing Countries
Dr. Frederic Sautet 
Mercatus Center

Dr. Tyler Cowen
George Mason University

View Dr. Sautet's powerpoint presentation.

Session Three: Thursday, April 19th
Remittances and Development 
Dr. Mario Villarreal

Mercatus Center

View Dr. Villarreal's powerpoint presentation.

In the course of the last ten years, international development and official development aid (ODA) have undergone nothing short of a revolution. Through programs such as the Millennium Challenge Account and an ever-expanding network of non-governmental organizations, developing countries are taking the lead on their own development and charting new courses to prosperity. Unique partnerships between governments, NGOs, and private enterprises have loosened poverty's grip on the millions of people subsiding on less than $2 a day.

Traditional models of foreign assistance have largely failed. Despite the best intentions of donor countries, aid has few successes to its name and a laundry list of failures that harmed its intended beneficiaries. As the developing world begins to look to new models of development, policy makers in the US and abroad need to understand how countries become prosperous - and how prosperity is maintained.

To help policy makers think creatively about how governments and private groups in wealthy countries can help make positive change in developing countries, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University is pleased to host a three-day course to provide participants with a greater understanding of the institutions and needs of developing countries, while attempting to identify the policies that best encourage prosperity among the world's poor.

Questions to be addressed include:

  • Why is economic growth important? What is the relationship between economic freedom, political freedom, democracy, and the rule of law?
  • What political institutions stimulate economic growth? Which policies thwart growth?
  • How can governments utilize the knowledge and expertise of local NGOs? How can the public and private sectors team up to address the problems of poverty? Where are some examples of success? Of failure?
  • How does microfinance empower the local entrepreneur? How can it be most effective? What are some of its limitations? What is the relationship between microfinance, entrepreneurship, and social change?
  • What role do remittances play in development? What is the relationship between remittances, immigration, and growth?