Public opinion about money for development

Today, the people feel that money for development produces little results. Possibly there are two main reasons. Firstly, present crisis causes cuts in the budget of development cooperation. But therefore, the pursuit of a more effective policy is motivated. Secondly we need more and better communication about the achievements towards the people. This lack of attention can be explained by the apparent distance between development cooperation and the everyday concerns of many civilians.

Development cooperation is more than just moral obligation, it is about common interests. This must be applicable, even more in the current context of financial and economic crisis, where the disastrous consequences for the finances of our countries are a risk of losing the international solidarity.

It is inacceptable to restore our budgetary balance at the expense of the most vulnerable  groups in society, which don’t live here but need our cooperation to save themselves.

Mr. Van Wassenhoven: People often say that development cooperation is pointless, nothing changes. But we ( everybody who is involved in development cooperation) are actually not the persons who will really change something. The only thing we can do is support, the local people and especially the politics are the ones who can really make the difference. Because at higher level we have no influence because these are economic and social politics.

Riots are a way to have a great influence by the people, for example with a dictatorship or when food prices are set to spiral. They respond to politics.

Ultimate conclusion

The reason is the economic politics of market speculation, even food prices  are traded by speculation. One way or another, one day this will cause problems.
Inequality must be addressed as well. Nowadays large companies make sure that local farmers (often in poor countries) wear sackcloth and ashes.
The world leaders also have to look at the world trade because the way things are now heading, sooner or later it will go wrong, look at Greece for example.
In the poor countries unions have to start up to be a voice for the voiceless, poor people. In the nineteenth century  the workmen were passive as well, but when they started to acquire wealth, they refused to let it go and because of this unions arose which wanted more and more power. Thus we need to give them time and space.

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8 thoughts on “Public opinion about money for development

  1. deckersbram says:

    I agree with your ultimate conclusion but have a question about the communication problem you stated in the first paragraph. Don’t you think that the information nowadays about the results is available for the people that are interested. Is it not a waste of money to inform everybody on what projects the Belgian governement has invested it’s money for development aid. I believe those results are published and can be found if you are interested in the subject. If you inform everybody about results don’t you risk spending massive amounts of money in leaflets that a lot people will not read and trow away?

  2. woutcordeel says:

    I agree that investment in flyers is quite a waste of money, because the first thing I do when someone gives me a flyer is searching for a waste bin. I was thinking about advertisement as a commercial break between the news at 7’o clock and theweather forecast . In my opinion, it is a very good opportunity to bring the problem to a larger audience and you reach the interested persons as well as an other target group and everybody watches the news and the weather forecast.

    • tijlcrauwels says:

      Maybe there should be a law that at least 90% of the donated money, should go into actual charity. And another account that could be used for advertising, transportation cost etc, which you can also donate to.

      Because now I also get the feeling that a lot of peoples money, gets invested in advertising and making the charity become a ‘bigger business’.

      • woutcordeel says:

        Well indeed a large part of the money is used to financing the logistics and people on the field. First of all those people have to be paid and everything what is left can be used to do development cooperation or aid.

        If the government can garantee that those organisations are all non-profit organisations, than it is kind of a proof that a lot of the money is actually spent to help those people.

      • tijlcrauwels says:

        Yes but then in my opinion, you’re running this as a business. And it could be perfectly possible to run with a deficit. Meaning that none (or close to nothing) of the deposits are actually used to help people, but only to fund the logistics etc.

      • woutcordeel says:

        But how can you to development cooperation without having those people on location? The ultimate goal is that people of a local organisation can do it themselves but until then financing of logistics is necessary.
        Depending on the situation, those western people have to stay a bit longer than somewhere else, that’s quite normal I think.

      • gabuglio says:

        Maybe you can compare it with the ‘Livestrong’ organisation of Lance Armstrong.
        It started as an organisation to help people who have cancer, to invest money in research and medicine.
        Nowadays it has become a real company with real business. Only about 15% of the money that circulates actually goes to research and medicine. The other bigger part is to pay fee’s and advertisement.

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