Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Buzzwords and Waste

From Elisabeth Pisani's book, I learn that buzzwords without science (and a little bit common sense) can lead to stupid waste. No, I am not talking about Blue Energy. It's about AIDS (the buzzwords) and aid program on it.

For instance, the State Department and USAID gave the East Timor government two million USD for an HIV program. Sounds good? Hang on a sec. The problem is at the time the US came up with that number, only seven East Timorese had ever tested positive for HIV (page 275)

You do the math. And Pisani did. With the number of prostitutes in hand, she suggested a program to send all the prostitutes in the country to Harvard, while her colleague, Philippe, prefered a university in France --because it's cheaper so that the money can even cover all the gay party-boys too (page 278).

Indonesian, hold your laughter. We do share the guilt. Well not really us, but the one who gave us the money, The Global Fund.

Indonesia was really good in making up a proposal full of bullshit buzzwords such as 'scaled-up', 'best practice', 'multisectoral', and 'empowerment'. So good that we can scoop 7.8 million USD for proposal with anticipated result of peer outreach to just 400 of 160.000 drug injectors, antiretroviral treatment for eighty people, and small amount of contraceptives to prostitutes (page 296).

I've heard that the Global Fund initiative led to some internal scandals in MoH, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment