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Book launch | Foreign Aid and its Unintended Consequences

Friday October 20, 2023, from 12:30 to 14:00
Room 24.009 (Ground Floor). Mercè Rodoreda 24 building. Campus Ciutadella UPF

Dirk-Jan Koch (Author, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Discussant: Íñigo Macías Aymar (Oxfam Intermón & IBEI). ChairFulya Apaydın (IBEI)

📸 You can check the pictures here
▶️ Watch the video recording here


Foreign aid and international development frequently bring with it a range of unintended consequences, both negative and positive. This book delves into these consequences, providing a fresh and comprehensive guide to understanding and addressing them.

The book starts by laying out a theoretical framework based on complexity thinking, before going on to explore the ten most prevalent kinds of unintended effects of foreign aid: backlash effects, conflict effects, migration and resettlement effects, price effects, marginalization effects, behavioural effects, negative spillover effects, governance effects, environmental effects, and ripple effects. Each chapter revolves around a set of concrete case studies, analysing the mechanisms underpinning the unintended effects and proposing ways in which policymakers, practitioners, and evaluators can tackle negative side effects and maximize positive side effects. The book also includes personal testimonies, a succinct overview of unintended effects, and suggestions for further reading.

Providing a clear overview of what side effects to anticipate when planning, executing, and evaluating aid, this book will be an important resource for students, development practitioners, and policymakers alike.

Koch, D.-J. (2023). Foreign Aid and Its Unintended Consequences (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003356851

Logo open access  Open Access content is available for this title


Dirk-Jan Koch is serving as the Chief Science Officer of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is also Special Professor of International Trade & Development Cooperation at Radboud University (Netherlands). Dirk-Jan finished his PhD (cum laude) at the Radboud University in 2009 and focused on geographic choices of international development NGOs. He was based for 5 years in the DRC and 2 years in Kenya, where he worked amongst others as a regional director at Search for Common Ground, as a professor at the Catholic Univeristy of Kinshasa and as a diplomat of the Netherlands to the DRC.

This event is co-organised with IBEI's Research Cluster Institutions, Inequality and Development