Riddell, Roger 1947- (Roger C. Riddell)
Riddell, Roger 1947- (Roger C. Riddell)
Born April 24, 1947, in the United Kingdom. Education: Heythrop College, University of London, undergraduate degree, 1970, postgraduate diploma, 1975; University of Zimbabwe, B.S.C. (with honours), 1973; University of Sussex, M.Phil, 1977.
Office—Policy Practice, 33 Southdown Ave., Brighton BN1 6EH, England. E-mail—[email protected]
Development specialist. St. Ignatius College, Harare, Zimbabwe, secondary school teacher, 1965-66; University of Zimbabwe, Harare, department of economics, research assistant, 1973-74, part-time lecturer, 1981-83; Catholic Institute of International Relations, research officer, 1977-80; Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Prices, Incomes and Conditions of Service, Harare, chair, 1980-81; Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Harare, chief economist, 1981-83; Overseas Development Institute, London, England, senior research fellow, 1984-99; Christian Aid, London, international director, 1999-2004; Oxford Policy Management, board member, nonexecutive director, and independent consultant, 2004—; Policy Practice, Ltd., principal, 2004—. Worked as senior consultant for the African Development Bank's study on Economic Integration in Southern Africa, 1993; worked on a study on the macroeconomics of regional integration in southern Africa for the South African Ministry of Finance, 1998; initiated work on minorities, human rights, and development for Minority Rights Group in the late 1990s; commissioned by the Swedish Government to develop methodologies to assess the impact of human rights projects; senior member of United Nations Industrial Development Organization team to assess Zimbabwe's manufacturing sector for the Ministry of Industry; manager and lead consultant for a number of multicountry assessments of the impact of non-governmental organization aid, including for the Swedish and Finnish governments and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
(With Verity S. Cubitt) The Urban Poverty Datum Line in Rhodesia: A Study of the Minimum Consumption Needs of Families, Faculty of Social Studies, University of Rhodesia (Salisbury, Rhodesia), 1974.
(With Peter S. Harris) The Poverty Datum Line as a Wage Fixing Standard: An Application to Rhodesia, Mambo Press (Gwelo, Rhodesia), 1975.
Alternatives to Poverty, Catholic Institute for International Relations (London, England), 1977.
The Land Question, Catholic Institute for International Relations (London, England), 1978.
The Land Problem in Rhodesia: Alternatives for the Future, Mambo Press (Gwelo, Rhodesia), 1978.
(With John Gilmurray and David Sanders) The Struggle for Health, Catholic Institute for International Relations (London, England), 1979.
Alternative Development Strategies for Zimbabwe, Centre for Applied Social Sciences, University of Zimbabwe (Mount Pleasant, Zimbabwe), 1980.
Education for Employment, Catholic Institute for International Relations (London, England), 1980.
Economic Sanctions and the South African Agricultural Sector, Africa Bureau (London, England), 1981.
Foreign Aid Reconsidered, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1987.
(With others) Manufacturing Africa: Performance & Prospects of Seven Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Heinemann (Portsmouth, NH), 1990.
Zimbabwe to 1996: At the Heart of a Growing Region, Economist Intelligence Unit (New York, NY), 1992.
(With others) Strengthening the Partnership: Evaluation of the Finnish NGO Support Programme, Overseas Development Institute (London, England), 1994.
(With others) Non-Governmental Organizations and Rural Poverty Alleviation, Overseas Development Institute (London, England), 1995.
Roger Riddell is a development specialist with some thirty years of experience. His areas of expertise in his field include aid policy and impact; macroeconomic policy; land reform; the impact and modalities of foreign aid; the role and impact of nongovernmental organizations (NGO) in development; transparency and accountability especially in the voluntary sector; NGO cost-effectiveness issues; foreign private investment; globalization and poverty; industrialization; the mining sector; human rights, minority rights, and development; relief, emergency, and humanitarian aid; and theology and development. Prior to his work at the Policy Practice—an organization that undertakes policy work in developing countries and advises governments, development agencies, civil society organizations and companies—where he has worked as a principal since 2004, Riddell worked for five years in senior management as international director of Christian Aid, one of the United Kingdom's largest relief and development agencies. He has twelve years' experience living and working in Africa and has undertaken research and assessments in Africa, Asia, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. He has also lectured extensively on development economics. In addition to publishing research studies and articles in his field, Riddell has written and cowritten several books, including The Urban Poverty Datum Line in Rhodesia: A Study of the Minimum Consumption Needs of Families, published in 1974; The Poverty Datum Line as a Wage Fixing Standard: An Application to Rhodesia, published in 1975; Alternatives to Poverty, published in 1977; The Land Question, published in 1978; The Land Problem in Rhodesia: Alternatives for the Future, published in 1978; The Struggle for Health, published in 1979; Alternative Development Strategies for Zimbabwe, published in 1980; Education for Employment, published in 1980; Economic Sanctions and the South African Agricultural Sector, published in 1981; Foreign Aid Reconsidered, published in 1987; Manufacturing Africa: Performance & Prospects of Seven Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, published in 1990; Foreign Direct Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa, published in 1991; Zimbabwe to 1996: At the Heart of a Growing Region, published in 1992; Strengthening the Partnership: Evaluation of the Finnish NGO Support Programme, published in 1994; Non-Governmental Organizations and Rural Poverty Alleviation, pub-lished in 1995; and Does Foreign Aid Really Work?, published in 2007.
Non-Governmental Organizations and Rural Poverty Alleviation, which Riddell wrote with a few others, presents the results of empirical research conducted by the Overseas Development Institute in London. The study addresses the question of whether or not NGOs really successfully alleviate poverty. This book offers "one of the most thorough and systematic assessments of the work of NGOs yet to have been carried out. They focused specifically on poverty alleviation projects—whereas other major evaluations to have been carried out have included a congeries of project types—and they selected four projects in each of four countries (Bangladesh, India, Uganda and Zimbabwe). They sought to establish whether projects had been successful in achieving their objectives and whether they had been able to improve the economic status of their beneficiaries—and if so, why; and whether benefits had been distributed equitably," observed Journal of Development Studies critic John Harriss.
Does Foreign Aid Really Work? "takes an in-depth look at the whole aid enterprise, placing this within a wider historical and political context. It provides a review and overview of the best evidence available to show what aid has achieved so far," according to Gulf Research Center contributor Dr. Klejda Mulaj. "Riddell's formidable compilation of evaluation sources ultimately comes up with an answer to the question posed by the book's title. It is unsurprising but correct: The development cooperation industry has made a positive difference but could do far better. In other words, aid can work and often does, but it can also do harm and needs far better management and evaluation," related Robert Picciotto in his review of the book for Ethics & International Affairs. The book, which consists of twenty-two chapters, is divided into four parts. The first part, titled "The Complex Worlds of Foreign Aid," gives an overview of the evolution and development of aid, while the second part, titled "Why Is Aid Given?," is an exploration of the reasons for giving aid. This part looks at things such as why individuals support the development and humanitarian work of NGOs. The third part, "Does Aid Really Work? Reviewing and Assessing the Evidence," discusses the impacts of aid, and the fourth, "Towards a Different Future for Aid," proposes improvements to the system.
Overall, critics had positive feedback for the book, such as Norwegian Institute of International Affairs Web site contributor Axel Borchgrevink, who was deeply impressed by Riddell's work in this book. He noted that the author doesn't just answer the question of whether or not foreign aid really works, but that "he has a much wider ambition. He gives an overview of foreign aid—including the roles of NGOs and of humanitarian aid, which are generally overlooked in similar studies; he analyses the motives donors have for giving aid and the moral arguments that have been advanced; he demonstrates the many difficulties inherent in assessing the impact of aid; he summarises and weighs available evidence on the impact of different forms of aid; he analyses why aid does not reach its full potential; and he offers a set of recommendations for how aid can be improved." Borchgrevink added: "Riddell does an impressive job in covering a wide range of source material—academic studies and the more ‘grey’ literature of consultants, agencies and NGOs." The reviewer also added that "even if Riddell is clearly an insider in the development world (and thus automatically suspect to many of its critics), his dispassionate way of presenting both sides of the argument, and his willingness to delve into the problematic sides of aid, lend considerable authority to his conclusions. … His thorough way of going through the complexities of determining whether and to what extent aid works is an important counterweight to the kind of superficial debate referred to above." Contemporary Review contributor George Wedd noted, "Like many people in the warm and fuzzy world of internationalism—diplomats, businessmen and managers of NGOs—he knows the two-fold pressure involved: really understanding the country in which one is working, and the country from which one springs. This book is a very sound, comprehensive and factually accurate overall account of his world, and he has done a good job of controlling his own beliefs and prejudices." Wedd added that "this is a necessary book." "This book is unique in taking up the challenge of providing an analysis of foreign aid which encompasses all the main worlds of aid: official aid, development aid provided by NGOs, and emergency aid, at both the macrolevel and micro-level. The text has avoided ‘technical’ language in order to make the discussion of the key themes accessible to the more general reader. Roger Riddell has offered a rigorous and, at the same time, a highly readable account of aid that will be valuable to all those with an interest in the subject," maintained Mulaj. "Riddell is to be congratulated on having written a comprehensive and thorough book which I gladly recommend to anyone interested in aid. It is written in an accessible way, and should satisfy specialists and non-specialists alike," noted Borchgrevink.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
African Affairs, January 1, 1992, Ron Matthews, review of Manufacturing Africa: Performance & Prospects of Seven Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, p. 142.
Africa Today, January 1, 1991, review of Manufacturing Africa, p. 71; January 1, 1992, review of Zimbabwe to 1996: At the Heart of a Growing Region, p. 165.
American Political Science Review, December 1, 1988, George J. Cvejanovich, review of Foreign Aid Reconsidered, p. 1406.
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, July 1, 1988, Wilfred Malenbaum, review of Foreign Aid Reconsidered, p. 167.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, February 1, 2008, C. Kilby, review of Does Foreign Aid Really Work?, p. 1025.
Comparative Politics, January 1, 1990, John D. Montgomery, review of Foreign Aid Reconsidered, p. 237.
Contemporary Review, summer, 2008, George Wedd, review of Does Foreign Aid Really Work?.
Economic Development & Cultural Change, July 1, 1991, John L. Enos, review of Foreign Aid Reconsidered, p. 906.
Economic Journal, January 1, 1997, J.G. Copestake, review of Non-Governmental Organizations and Rural Poverty Alleviation, p. 225.
Economist, December 12, 1987, review of Foreign Aid Reconsidered, p. 102.
Ethics & International Affairs, December 22, 2007, Robert Picciotto, review of Does Foreign Aid Really Work?, p. 477.
Foreign Affairs, January 1, 1987, William Diebold, Jr., review of Foreign Aid Reconsidered, p. 435.
International Affairs, January 1, 1987, M.J. Grieve, review of Foreign Aid Reconsidered, p. 126; July 1, 1996, Nigel Twose, review of Non-Governmental Organizations and Rural Poverty Alleviation, p. 595.
Journal of Developing Areas, April 1, 1988, Donald Bowles, review of Foreign Aid Reconsidered, p. 403.
Journal of Development Studies, April 1, 1988, Brian Van Arkadie, review of Foreign Aid Reconsidered, p. 431; December 1, 1996, John Harriss, review of Non-Governmental Organizations and Rural Poverty Alleviation, p. 279; August 1, 2007, Mark Arvin, review of Does Foreign Aid Really Work?, p. 1144.
Journal of Economic Literature, March 1, 1988, review of Foreign Aid Reconsidered, p. 191; September 1, 1996, review of Non-Governmental Organizations and Rural Poverty Alleviation, p. 1481.
Journal of Modern African Studies, June 1, 1991, April Gordon, review of Manufacturing Africa, p. 332.
Orbis, January 1, 1988, Patrick Clawson, review of Foreign Aid Reconsidered, p. 134.
Political Science Quarterly, December 22, 1996, Norman Uphoff, review of Non-Governmental Organizations and Rural Poverty Alleviation, p. 744.
Prairie Schooner, winter, 1996, review of Non-Governmental Organizations and Rural Poverty Alleviation, p. 744.
Gulf Research Center Web site,http://www.grc.ae/ (August 16, 2008), Dr. Klejda Mulaj, review of Does Foreign Aid Really Work?
Norwegian Institute of International Affairs Web site,http://english.nupi.no/ (August 16, 2008), Axel Borchgrevink, review of Does Foreign Aid Really Work?
Oxford Policy Management Web site,http://www.opml.co.uk/ (September 16, 2008), author profile.
Policy Practice Web site,http://www.thepolicypractice.com/ (August 16, 2008), author profile.