All tagged International Development
In most of the countries with the greatest need in our world, social conditions are--shall we say--less than ideal. By giving anything--money, resources, volunteers, even attention--to these countries, are we not somehow complicit in their corruption, their repression, their cruelty?
Or: a Realist, a Cynic, an Optimist, and a Pragmatist debate whether to accept grant funding through a Congressional earmark…
Like junkies, successful change agents fixate on their cause. They crave it, sacrifice for it, and are willing to expend ever greater effort, against ever greater odds, to move it forward.
Why can't we have some kind of genuinely objective perspective? The answer's pretty simple: the genuinely objective observers don't CARE enough to do the careful analysis.
Development is about releasing potential energy. Like a drawn bow or a loaded spring, developing communities are FULL of potential energy—they vibrate with it. But there are things about living there that prevent this force, this generative energy, from being released.
Perhaps the problem is not so much that we fail, that our efforts fall short of our goals (and the needs of the people we work with). Perhaps the problem is with how we fail.
Just started what may be the coolest class of my graduate experience. I am the ONLY American! (I'm also the only woman. Somehow I don't find that quite as exhilarating...)
The tools of hard power are force, sanctions, payments and bribes; the tools of soft power institutions, policies, culture and values. Hard power is authoritarian and self-serving. Soft power is neither. And HOPES development is built on soft power.
"Draft a plan to help Zimbabwe if Mugabe were removed from power and your NGO were invited in to help." That was the prompt for my Third World Development class final. No joke.
Karatara is home to a remarkable little school called Eden Campus...and not much else. The school is a long way from self-sufficiency, but they have some electrifying ideas about getting there.
Great news! The Escuela Agricola de San Francisco made it to the finals of the BBC World Challenge--a top social innovation competition! Now you get to vote to help them win!