Quandaries of Development 

As you enter your career you will be faced with the foibles of development; actions that you or the organization you work with are involved in, that morally do not fit with you or contradict the reason for which you got into this business… and business very much it is.

Below are some statements of what can take place in development and humanitarian assistance that is less than desirable.
As you enter your
Humanitarians/Development Workers as enablers of the War Machine 

When Rescuing the Poor becomes an Investment of the Rich 

Humanitarian/Development work: self profiteering business of the state 

Winning votes / avoiding responsibility: development/charitable work as a tool of politics 

Four decades has transformed underdeveloped nations into dependent slaves.

Select one or more of the statements below taken from "Smoke and Mirrors of the Humanitarian World" Jordi Raich 2004 and Prove them Wrong or Change Them Right. 

Produce documentaries, theses, articles and case studies of Proving the Statements Wrong or Changing them Right by creating new initiatives, approaches or methods that lead with non dependency oriented business solutions sensitive to the environment and to economic access. Below is an initial list of Statements of Change from Smoke and Mirrors of the Humanitarian World, Jordi Raich, 2004.

1.  “An industry driven by fads and buzz words.”
Action: find, publicize and enhance activities where services continued beyond the grant time by partnering with business, recovering costs and becoming financially and environmentally sustainable.  

2. When rescuing the poor becomes an investment for the rich.  
Action: Find, document and enhance activities where an NGO started with integrity, had to sell its goals for economic survival but found equilibrium between covering costs commercially and offering the service it was meant to offer. 

3.Winning votes by avoiding responsibility: development and charitable work as a tool of politics. 
Action: Find, document and enhance activities where politics was used to manipulate the poor for votes, but was stopped thanks to an action of enlightened leadership or peaceful grassroots action.

4. “When people in need are excluded because leadership is corrupt.  Their country does not respect human rights or is lead by warlords.  Did the cholera epidemic violate the law? 
Action:  Identify places where this injustice takes place and address it hands on with publicity campaigns, grassroots actions, media and education.

5. NGO’s that give planetary fault to the “international community”.  “The political solution”, an empty maxim that avoids compromises and self criticism.”  
Action: find places where compromise and self criticism could change a situation, and did, or can, thanks to your work.

6. “Where the land is rich and the people are poor/unheard/quiet/controlled”
Action:  Find, publicize and enhance cases that are battling openly against corruption and wheeling dealing among the favored few to the detriment of the masses. 
Find cases finding alternatives to or battling openly against:
Wheeling dealing among the favored few
Local anger, frustration and disdain it leaves behind
Sewing revolution, terror and abuse 

7. “Humanitarians as enablers or facilitators to the oppressive groups and governments.”
Action: Find cases where massive displacements due to war were assisted by NGO’s but have recovered from that period and have been resilient.   Demonstrate or provide a preventative method or plan to reduce this.  

Sample: In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the massive displacements were not a consequence of conflict, but of a principal objective of Serb ethnic cleansing. A strategy to which contributed the NGO’s by providing reception areas for the growing number of displaced.

8. Political intentionality to block help to the needy: When the vulnerable are considered enemies or collaborators by the ruling side. 
Action:  Find and enhance cases where the situation can be turned around.

Raich Jordi, Smoke and Mirrors of the Humanitarian World. 2004. Currently in Spanish. Espejismo Humanitarion.

Link to English Introduction of Jordi Raich’s “Smoke and Mirrors of the Humanitarian World.”


Here are  links to alternative traveling with “altournative” and volutnteering with Global Vision UK.   With “altournative” you do expeditions in Maya villages into grottos and treks that foment the local economy without damaging it.  With Global Vision you volunteer in the Maya communities of the Maya Riviera and Yucatan.  



Universities to Check Out for their International Development, Business and Peace Curricula








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