Lauer, Lorenz and Lepenies, Robert, The Poor Have No Money – So Just Give it to Them! In Favour of Inclusive Aid and Unconditional Cash Transfers (February 2015). EUI Department of Law Research Paper MWP 2015/02.
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Aid in 2015 is trapped in its own logic of paternalism, bureaucracy, over-reporting, top-down decision making and lack of accountability, thereby further excluding and disenfranchising the poor. We argue in this essay that this failure is not limited to official development assistance, but also extends to private organizations and academia. A culture of aid exists today that rewards the new, not the right. Academia and policy are trapped in a vicious circle of constant innovation and evaluation due to competition for funding, and thus far removed from the actual situation of the poor. We argue for a paradigm change towards unconditional trust and unconditional empowerment of the poor; in our own words, inclusive aid. As a first step towards truly just and democratic structures, we urge the implementation of minimal but continuous and unconditional financial support for the poorest.