Author Archives: John Hilary

About John Hilary

Executive Director at War on Want

How Western media would cover Baltimore if it happened elsewhere

Excellent piece from Karen Attiah in the Washington Post, for those who didn’t see it this week. Good in so many directions at once – for instance: The United Kingdom expressed concern over the troubling turn of events in America in the … Continue reading

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Frankie Boyle does development, colonialism, racism

Nothing left to say after such a brilliant piece, except read it in full on the Guardian website here. One highlight: Even our charity is essentially patronising. Give a man a fish and he can eat for a day. Give … Continue reading

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Band Aid for Detroit

From our friends at the Council of Canadians, here’s a reworking of the Band Aid single to highlight the assault on the human right to water as a result of the mass cut-offs in Detroit. “Here’s to them underneath that … Continue reading

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NGOs: do they really help?

The main section of this month’s New Internationalist opens up the existential issue of whether NGOs (and in particular international development NGOs) are now doing more harm than good around the world. The theme is an increasingly common one in blogs, … Continue reading

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We got this, Bob Geldof, so back off

For those who haven’t seen the responses coming out of Africa to the fourth appearance of the Band Aid single earlier this week, Al Jazeera collected a number of critiques of the ‘white saviour complex’ in this article. Ghanaian musician … Continue reading

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Celebs and journos: any good for development?

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 … Continue reading

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Inequality: possible joint working in 2015

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 … Continue reading

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Does aid really work? An updated answer

Thoughtful reflection from down under by Roger Riddell here:

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Progressive Development Forum charter finalised

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, … Continue reading

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White Charity

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 … Continue reading

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‘UK charities have lost their radical soul’

Continuing the previous two themes, the Guardian has this morning published an interview piece with me in which they look at the depoliticisation of international NGOs in the UK, including how renewed campaigns on structural issues such as tax justice might … Continue reading

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Tax Justice – Are You Serious?

For those who haven’t already signed up, the public forum on tax justice that is taking place on 25 November at London venue Rich Mix looks set to be a prime opportunity for people to debate where campaigning needs to … Continue reading

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Putting the Politics Back In

Tomorrow is the Bond annual conference, and by happy coincidence the overview article that I was asked to write on the trajectory of British international development NGOs – including the Progressive Development Forum – has just been published in the … Continue reading

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Business no longer interested in NGOs

The Guardian’s coverage of the latest study of business attitudes to sustainable development is interesting for homing in on the diminishing significance of NGOs in corporate eyes. The report itself, a joint venture between Accenture and the UN’s Global Compact, is … Continue reading

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Give someone a fish… updated

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