Tag Archives: Aid

No future? The road ahead for development NGOs

Back in the day, when moving money around the world was a difficult operation and moving resources and people equally difficult, specialised international development NGOs made sense. Nowadays, communication and transport technology makes keeping in contact with people in developing … Continue reading

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Just another crisis: Famine, terror and governments in Somalia

I hardly know where to start on the Horn of Africa famine, except to say it all seems horribly familiar. Actually, make that ‘disgustingly’ familiar. Three decades on since Ethiopian famines spawned the likes of Live Aid and little has … Continue reading

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NGO accountability and the future of aid

For NGOs working in international development, accountability is a huge can of worms. NGOs are in the middle of a complex chain of accountability – being accountable in various ways to donors, staff, aid recipients, the governments of the countries … Continue reading

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Arms and the nice guy

What is the correct response to a repressive, nuclear-armed government with a history of sabre-rattling and whose agencies have been implicated in support for terrorism? Give it billions of dollars in military aid, of course. And because they’ve been naughty, … Continue reading

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The word on the street

I got stopped by some joker with a clipboard the other day, who asked if I wanted to become “a project partner” with the NGO he worked for. “Sure,” I said, and taking him at his literal word, began listing … Continue reading

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Reporting development progress

The Overseas Development Institute in the UK has been producing a well-written series of short reports on development progress in particular countries. The results are synthesized into another report Mapping progress: evidence for a new development outlook but the individual … Continue reading

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The politics of nostalgia

On sunny days at least, New Zealanders can be charmingly optimistic in a naive sort of way, which I guess is why New Zealand has a high profile in international trade negotiations. You’d need to be optimistic to be a … Continue reading

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Development experts: The shocking truth revealed!

Anyone following current debates about our aid programme should remember the following rule of thumb for interpreting political discourse: once politicians and their ideological fellow travellers start attacking people who can’t fight back, it is a sure sign that they’ve … Continue reading

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Moral muddles and aiding the banks

Moral hazard sounds like the sort of thing a politician ought to worry about. And it is, although not in the way you might imagine. While the name ‘moral hazard’ suggests theology, it’s actually an insurance industry term used to … Continue reading

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If we’re right, how come nobody cares? New thinking on public engagement

How do we encourage the public to support the work of international development groups? In the UK there’s quite a debate on this question, particularly in light of the change in the political environment marked by the election of a … Continue reading

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