A great recent article by Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, head of Civicus. Well worth sharing.
We’ve adopted the strategic planning and management tools of the power structures we should be challenging.
We’re settling for incremental change – quantifiable outocmes that appleal to donors.
Some organisations involved in the Progressive Development Forum alongside a number of African partners recently published the report ‘Honest Accounts’ This report, briefing and animation (below) quantifies the resource flows in and out of sub Saharan Africa, across a wide range of areas. It shows that inflows on $134 per year compared to outflows of $192 leaving a $58 billion dollar net loss each year.
Africa is losing:
• $46.3 billion in profits made by multinational companies
• $21 billion in debt payments, often following irresponsible loans
• $35.3 billion in illicit financial flows facilitated by the global network of tax havens
• $23.4 billion in foreign currency reserves given as loans to other governments
• $17 billion in illegal logging
• $1.3 billion in illegal fishing
• $6 billion as a result of the migration of skilled workers from Africa
In addition to these resource flows Africa is forced to pay a further:
• $10.6 billion to adapt to the effects of climate change that it did not cause
• $26 billion to promote low carbon economic growth
This provides a challenge to the idea that we are generously ‘aiding’ Africa and demands action on the structural causes of poverty. We also have a manifesto action targeting party leaders calling for ‘honest accounts’ of our financial relationship with Africa which you can take here.
This is an old piece but it’s worth sharing. Nigerian born, US based writer Teju Cole on the ‘white saviour industrial complex’. I used one of his tweets recently in a report and a presentation – here’s a link to the full list of his tweets on this topic and his article that’s very relevant to debates on development, privilege and ‘helping Africa’. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-white-savior-industrial-complex/254843/
I was asked by Bond – following the Enough If campaign and others – to write a piece on the role of the Global South in campaign coalitions.
Here’s a link:
See what you think… any thoughts??
Does INGO use of celebrities have any positive impact in the real world, or is it really just a sneaky way for charities to attract corporate sponsors to their brand? Dan Brockington’s research into INGO use of celebrities for advocacy purposes has now been made available via open access licences here, and it includes some interesting reflections.
For those in London on 19 June, Dan’s new book ‘Celebrity Advocacy and International Development’ will be launched at 6pm at the Open University, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP. The first chapter can be previewed for free here.
The event comes at the end of a half-day workshop on development and the media organised by the Development Studies Association, and will also feature Martin Scott’s new book on Media and Development. To book a place, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Here’s an interesting blog about why every novel on Africa has the same cover image. Its not about development, per se, but what interested me most is that it shows that the development sector is just one perpetrator of myths amongst many. We need to be conscious about the fact that we, too, are influenced by a wider set of cultural norms that infiltrate media, art, film and literature. The question is: what is our role in combatting these myths and representations more widely? We can merely be influenced by them, or we can seek to influence proactively.