Vit Hassan/Flickr

比尔·盖茨为什么错了

纽约—在给妮娜·孟克(Nina Munk)错误百出并且早已过时的书写的书评中,比尔·盖茨反常地抛弃了已成为其基金会宝贵工作的标志——严格的衡量和评估方法。他简单地接受了孟克关于千年村计划(Millennium Villages Project)失败的论断。事实上,这一正在20多个非洲国家展开的发展项目可谓方兴未艾。

如此轻信令人感到奇怪。孟克的书只是对十年计划的前半段略作窥视,并且只考察了12个村庄中的两个。并且她从未“在千年村中生活很长一段时间。”事实上,孟克平均每年花六天时间——六年来总共花了36天左右——访问这些村庄,访问期通常为2—3天。此外,她是以《名利场》记者的身份来到村庄的,她没有接受过公共卫生、农学、经济学和非洲发展等方面的训练,也没有这些方面的经验。

更糟糕的是,孟克的观察至少因为追求叙事效果而被大大夸张了。比尔·盖茨真的相信我会在不考虑是否存在市场的情况下推广某些作物吗?我会在不断地给政府领导人所提的建议中不考虑国家税收吗?还有,千年村计划的农业战略和选择是有非洲农学家主导的,其中不乏非洲最出色的农业专家——许多人还与比尔自己的非洲绿色革命同盟(Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa,AGRA)的农业工作人员共事。

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