How would *you* make aid better?

How would you make aid better?

We all love to whinge and moan about how bad things are in aid. The big INGOs are bureaucratic money pits. Little LNGOs have low capacity and aren’t accountable. Expats ride around disaster zones in white Landcruisers. Too many journalists. Too few journalists. Aid workers are cynical. Aid is an instrument of foreign policy for wealthy Western countries. Aid organizations do not put enough sit-reps up on their websites… and on and on.

But let’s say that you had the ability to make changes. Real, lasting changes.

Let’s imagine that you could make three changes to the state of things in the aid industry. Forget practicality and reality, press ‘pause’ on good participatory process for just a moment, and just imagine that you could make three decisions or call for three changes and those changes would be followed through, applied across the industry. “Enforced”, if you will.

What changes would you make?

Would you put industry-wide regulation in place? Would you localize all field operations? Would you revamp aid marketing? Is there a particular HRI-affiliate you’d ban from practice? Enforce total transparency? Get rid of the UN? Force expats to take local transport to coordination meetings? What?

so many ways to make aid better

This is your big chance to sound off with your ideas. Here’s how it works:

1) Write an original post on your blog about how you’d make aid better. Give us a list of three, specific decisions or changes you’d make to the whole aid industry (relief, development, the UN system, institutional donors… all of it). Make it as practical or as pie-in-the-sky as you like. Take it as seriously or be as satirical as you like. Publish your post.

[Extra credit: publish first on your AidSource profile blog (you’re a member of AidSource, right?). Extra-extra credit: publish only on your AidSource blog!]

2) Click the goofy lizard icon, follow a few prompts, and add the link to your post to the collection. Takes two minutes, max.

 3) Read posts by others, comment, debate, get your AidSource member friends to write posts, tweet famous aid pundits to persuade them to post, etc.

4) This collection closes on August 1, 2012. We’ll publish a round-up and comments of our own soon after August 1.

Happy making aid better!

Leave a comment


  1. Nice idea – cutting whinging in the blogosphere, even temporarily, can only be a good thing. Now to plan…

  2. Excellent idea! Funny enough I was discussing about this yesterday with friends & colleagues over dinner…

  1. How would *you* make aid better? | Global Health Hub: news and blogosphere aggregator
  2. How Matters /  Want to make aid better? Let us play!
  3. AidSpeak

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