Debating Aid: A Development Education Resource

Is aid a duty or an option?
What are our international obligations?
Does aid work or is it a waste of resources?
Is NGO aid more effective than government aid?
What is Ireland’s role in the international aid debate?
Aid and celebrities, aid and justice, aid and trade, aid and corruption – what are the issues?

As its name suggests, Debating Aid explores development aid and the various debates around it, from the philosophical basis behind aid to the history of development aid and some of the major defences and criticisms of aid.

This resource is aimed at readers that have some idea about development aid and want to learn more. It cuts through the ‘insider’ terminology and technical jargon, summarising many of the major academic debates around aid.


  • Introduction
  • The Algebra of Infinite Injustice
  • Aid: a choice or a duty?
  • Aid: the history of an idea
  • Aid and its critics
  • Aid and its defenders
  • Non-governmental organisations and aid
  • Aid: four debates explored – The ‘Bono Effect’; Charity versus Justice?; Aid versus Trade; Aid and Corruption
  • Aid and Ireland

Sample pages available on

Product details

Written by: Bertrand Borg, Mary Rose Costello and Colm Regan

Format: Paperback (landscape)

Page extent: 52 pages

Publication date: 2010

Publisher: 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World and the Irish

Development Education Association

ISBN: 978-0-9554263-8-4

Publication City/Country: Bray, Co.Wicklow, and Dublin, Ireland