The World Bank might not have been all it used to be in recent years. But in some ways it’s hardly changed at all. The annual “Doing Business” rankings rate countries in order of how corporate-friendly their policies are!
It effectively grades – and rewards – governments on how well they’ve performed in terms of helping large corporations avoid annoying things like tax and regulation.
This great little video gets across the message really well and succinctly:
And here’s a really good article that goes into more detail:
Last Friday saw an exploratory meeting that came out of discussions at the Progressive Development Forum (but which are ultimately aimed at a broader audience) in order to explore what appetite there might be for joint work around the issue of inequality in 2015, which is both a general election year and also the starting off point for the post-MDG era. The meeting heard short presentations from Health Poverty Action, Oxfam, TUC, Bond and the Gender & Development Network before breaking into more general discussion. A total of 30 people from trade unions, NGOs and networks participated and several more sent in apologies, with a request that they be kept informed of outcomes from the meeting. These brief notes aim to provide that feedback.
Edit: I’ll leave this up as it contains an additional link – but for a more interesting and fuller read about it scroll down the home page or click this link to Deborah Doane’s excellent post which I’ve just read – “Cultural Critiques of Development“. (Apols for not noticing earlier Deborah!)
I came across this – a bit like The Office set in a development NGO called “Aid for Aid”…. very interesting. The series itself is called The Samaritans.
And you can access and/or support it here:
More and more I’m finding clever critiques of development and development NGOs emerging from cultural circles, both from the north and south that I wanted to share with the Progressive Development Forum. There is this one from Kenya, a “mockumentary” about INGOS: http://africasacountry.com/kenyas-first-mockumentary-takes-on-the-ngo-world/ which looks like a clever take on the Office, and I must admit, gels with some of what I’ve witnessed over the years.
I also met a Danish playwright at a literature festival here in Bangalore last month, Astrid Saalbach, who wrote a play about the perils of Aid. She’s quite well known in Denmark, and said she was vilified for saying anything wrong about Danish Aid. The people in her play see what’s wrong with their mission in Nepal, but are also trapped in the system. http://www.astridsaalbach.dk/drama.html. Its a brilliant and sober critique of western do-goodism.
If anyone hasn’t seen it, yet, there’s also the Radi-Aid video, which was posted on this site before. http://www.africafornorway.no
Anyone have any others?
Yesterday’s meeting of the PDF action group approved the final version of the charter which has been drawn up in a collaborative process by participants over the past year. Many thanks to all those who took part and suggested additions, and especially to Graham Bennett for leading the process. As planned, the charter is now embedded in the About page of this website as an explanation of the PDF’s identity and intent.
At the end of last year, Nik Barry-Shaw (author of the critique of Canadian development NGOs, Paved with Good Intentions) posted a comment on this website noting that we must be wary of seeing the depoliticisation of INGOs as a particularly British phenomenon. Indeed, it’s interesting to see how widespread the critique is. A two-part blog out at the end of last year makes many of the same points from the Australian context, while the same debate is apparently raging in the Netherlands too – to prove it’s not a purely Anglo-Saxon malaise!
The video below, ‘White Charity’, is very much in the same vein. It comes from Glokal, the group that has published a detailed study of the language and imagery used by German INGOs in their representation of the Other (summary in English here). The video is a postcolonial analysis of charity fundraising images; English subtitles can be turned on via the Youtube captions button at the bottom right hand of the frame.