Attended a very intriguing talk by Sir Richard Feachem (Director of the Global Health Group at UCSF) titled "Reengineering Aid: A Bold Agenda for the 21st Century."

I never really thought about the long term implications of giving aid to countries. For example, does giving aid take the pressure off and encourage the leadership of the receiving country to go, "business as usual" and not make any changes since they now donors will bail them out? What can donating countries/individuals do to ensure their resources are helping in a sustainable way (i.e., don't give them a fish, teach them how to fish). 

Sir Richard Feachem talk didn't really provide an answer to these questions more than he proposed contrasting views on this issue.

Two books he mentioned that are worth reading that represent contrasting views on giving aid:

1. The End of Poverty by Jeffery Sachs...
http://www.amazon.com/The-End-Poverty-Economic-Possibilities/dp/0143036580

2. The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly...http://www.amazon.com/The-White-Mans-Burden-Efforts/dp/0143038826