End of paternalism

Each and every one of us gets confronted with savings. The European ministers have agreed on the fundamental importance that effective development policy should be executed to provide a response to the current great global challenges. This means for instance that our policy must project their policy towards the policy of the partner countries.
We should stop paternalistic logic where we impose our vision on our partner countries. It happened multiple times in the past but we have seen that it does not work.
We are going to need partnership where all sides are on an equal footing and take their responsibility.

But what if the partner governments are part of the problem rather than part of the solution, such as DCR (Democratic Republic of Congo)?
Mr. Labille suggests that the civil society should be participated actively in  this partnership. In this way there is a democratic ‘ownership’ where the society participates as ‘owner’.  Such an approach is useful in states with a problematic government.

E.g. in DCR the Belgian government listens to organizations of the local farmers and support the Congolese authorities when they make effort towards familial agriculture. They will also stimulate the partner authorities to involve and consult the civil society. This is not paternalistic, just a matter of  mature policy dialogue.

Mr. Van Wassenhoven and Mr. Sirolli have an more radical opinion. They believe we have to shut up and listen to the local people instead of telling them what to do. They don’t have to go towards a same system as ours, we have to support them and most of all give them space and time to go their own way. It took us centuries to develop our system and still there are lots of improvements left.

So don’t off advice, offer people with passion the information they need!

Do you have an interesting, creative idea to involve the local people?


3 thoughts on “End of paternalism

  1. gabuglio says:

    What you mean is that we have to go to the development countries with our money, listen to the people and their ideas for investment and then give them support (money) to do so while supervising?

    • Yes something like that. The problem is that lots of things are done for the people but not needed, by listening to them the real problems can be solved. In this way you involve the local people which give them more motivation. Support is not only financially support but can also be technical or expert advise support. What we do is help them to execute their ideas.

    • woutcordeel says:

      Those people have great creative ideas, ideas we cannot imagine and they simply need some technological or/and financial support. If they are part of the solution, they will be motivated to help others with the same problem for example.

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