1. Many development assistance ("foreign aid") agencies are inefficient bureaucracies.
2. A lot development assistance money gets wasted on administration and overhead.
3. Not enough development assistance money actually gets into the hands of poor people.
I just wish he were better at making them, and wish he were a better writer. To say that Hancock has an axe to grind is an understatement of epic proportions. About 1/4 way into the book the word "screed" kept coming to mind. About 1/3 of the way through the book, I started to wonder whether one of his children had been run down by a World Bank Land Cruiser or something. The writing has the tone of a skinhead review of Israeli culture and society. He might have a good point now and then, but his writing evidences such an extreme lack of objectivity that you wonder whether what he's saying can be believed. For example, when saying that the effects of development projects continue after the experts go back to their offices, we get "Long after the experts from the [development agencies] have packed their bags and their cute ethnic souvenirs, boarded their aircraft and fled northwards, the ill-conceived development projects that they have been responsible for continue to wreck the lives of the poor." And every sentence of every paragraph reads like this. It's like being bludgeoned senseless with hyperbole.
In addition, Graham can't keep his story straight when recounting the crimes of development workers. In one chapter he berates them for spending money to visit the project implementation sites. Calling it "development tourism," he goes on for an entire chapter complaining about the travel costs of the various agencies. In the very next chapter he goes on for dozens of pages calling development workers aloof from the poor they're serving, citing instances of managers who never visit the project sites.
To be sure there are diamonds hidden in this truckload of verbal gravel. Graham's description of how the World Bank and International Monetary Fund function was an education for me. I'm just not sure it's worth wading through the diatribe and sifting fact from prejudice to find the gems.