In the 1980s, development thinking shifted from seeing the state as the conducive force behind economic activities to viewing it as the facilitator of an enabling environment for the private sector which, in turn, is increasingly recognized as the prime mover of economic activities.By the mid- 1980s and the early 1990s, the socialist systems were under strain and, indeed, crumbling. In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and market reforms progressed (Exeter and Fries 1998: 26). As if awakened by these events, the donor community, academics, policymakers and professionals in the aid business, increasingly focused attention on the effectiveness of previous aid efforts. It is worth noting that until very recently, virtually all recipients of official aid were governments and such aid was for public sector development (Van de Walle 1999: 345).
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