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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Feisal Naqvi: Shaken Not Stirred

This compartmentalisation of knowledge is asinine. As it is, we already have a tremendous problem in Pakistan because our entire policymaking system has been outsourced to aid agencies. I have no axe to grind against multilateral agencies and I really do believe that they are trying to do good for Pakistan: my point is simply that the work they produce cannot be squirreled away and hidden. What we are stuck with now is a system in which multiple agencies commission multiple reports on similar subjects, most of which then disappear from public view. This is not acceptable.

More realistically, all that is needed is for the Ministry of Finance to make a rule saying that a copy of every single report submitted to the Economic Affairs Division by development agencies must be simultaneously placed on Google books.

Having all reports available on the internet for free is not going to fix poverty in Pakistan. But it is going to allow those trying to fix poverty to think smarter. And that’s a thought to which I hereby raise a glass of furiously shaken orange juice. LINK


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