Why the 2014 Gates Annual Letter on global poverty fails to inspire

In my latest livemint column, I discuss Gates’ letter: 

…the annual letters published by the Gates to lay out their guiding philosophy for the general public has turned into a message (and possibly manifesto) eagerly read and analysed by the aid and development community. This year, the 2014 Gates Annual Letter dealt with what it called ‘three myths that block progress for the poor’: the idea that poor countries will always be that way; that foreign aid is a waste and will not ameliorate the situation; and that where aid, related to saving lives, does work, it will lead to overpopulation…


…(the) Letter fails to pack a punch. The three topics that are discussed suffer in varying degrees: on one, it misdiagnoses the problem; on the second, it comes down too simplistically on one side; and on the third, it unnecessarily lends credence to a non-issue.

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