DFID's aid to education in Pakistan - perpetuating the problem?

I question this on the back of Imran Khan's fierce drive to get into power or at least gain more seats in Pakistani government with his party Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice). He speaks time and time again about the need to stop aid to Pakistan if the country is to develop. I must say I agree - Pakistan has definitely seen better days. If the current aid is not working towards capacity building, then it's likely causing more damage for the long-term. In the short-term, stipends from DFID are helping those young people who otherwise would have had to stop their education for one reason or another. The question then is: is the aid all that bad? Or is it simply making issues worse for the long-term in Pakistan? Can aid ever be non-political?

Decide for yourself: Watch the story of a woman who has received one of the stipends. 


  1. From G. Abbas on LinkedIn:
    Development through NGOs ought to be non political. It may have more to desire though for the way it is being done. Political leaders better stay out of NGOs development work or else they will pollute this sector too. Making claims while being out of arena is far different than what a politician will deliver in fact. No political party has new players who can claim for a test. Parties are full of tested an tried people including that of Mr. Imran's. on the other hand Mr. Imran might not have meant to curtail NGOs work or support through them.

  2. Mamta on LinkedIn:
    Aid per-se is not an issue here but how it is used and who benefits from it are the questions one need to ponder upon. When Aid reaches the right beneficiaries, like the case of DFID educating Pakistani girls, it can have multiplier effect and benefit the entire community in the long run. Mr Imran's call for stopping aid to make Pakistan self reliant will get him only support from his loyalists but not from people who have benefitted from such aid. NGOs and Governments can work together and there is space for everyone to contribute to the society!

  3. I have spent a lot of time in Pakistan helping the Government to be more 'efficient and effective'. There comes a point when, unless one is blind to the Pakistan Government's utter duplicity in their avowed alliances with Western taxpayers' governments (who provide this aid), one has to question one's own concience for continuing to be part of the charade.

    1. Thanks for your comment Anonymous. So, are you of the opinion that all aid is political?

  4. Excerpt from Glenn on LinkedIn:

    Thanks Sadia for posting this. This question has been asked for years, not only about Pakistan but every developing aid receiving country. Unfortunately the players in the aid industry just proceed with business-as-usual. None of the players in the system assume responsibility for the chaotic uncertainty about the impact of aid, or exercise leadership in trying to get a radical overhaul of the aid system. Without efforts towards a radical overhaul of the system, of course people like Imran Khan will want to stop the aid system in his country.