Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Stallings Compares Asian and Western Aid Patterns

November 14, 2011

Patterns of overseas development assistance (ODA) differ dramatically between East Asian donors and their Western counterparts, as Institute Professor Barbara Stallings recently detailed in a seminar hosted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency's Research Institute (JICA-RI).

The West tends to take a direct approach in poverty reduction and governance by giving to the poorest recipients, she said, while Asian donors pursue indirect tactics – “to replicate their own development experience to Asian neighbors” through rapid growth, assuming that poverty reduction and good governance will follow.

Among other differences she noted in her lecture at JICA, which coordinates Japan’s ODA, is Asian donors’ tendency to provide a much higher percentage of its funding in East Asia.

More globally, she added: "International foreign aid is being dramatically transformed with the entry of emerging donors such as China, Korea, India, and Brazil, which want to influence the development trajectory of today’s poor countries."