Ok, before we start getting excited about the next big aid panacea http://huff.to/14s5Etw let’s focus on the underlying message here: IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID! People with money can make good choices and can look after themselves, without their big Western brothers and sisters making those choices for them. Lack of access to money (i.e. no jobs) breeds desperation (i.e. bad sexual, emotional, social choices), disease, and poor education. So I’m not sure that handing out cash all over the world will lead to long term, structural changes to poverty, but I do know that we should focus more of our aid dollars on helping people realise their economic potential rather than pouring billions into our behaviour changing -awareness raising – gender balancing – social engineering projects. It’s kind of what Dambisa Moyo is saying about the Chinese development model– grow economies (somewhat equitably, please) and the social change will take care of itself.