Op-ed in openDemocracy’s Transformation site

Provocative title: “Foreign aid is a waste of money–unless it’s used for transformation“. Provocative strapline: “Simplistic stories of saving children trap aid agencies inside a self-defeating logic”. And a nice theme from the book: local reformers as the unsung heroes of foreign aid.

The ongoing outcry about sexual misconduct in charities and international organisations is breathing much needed fresh air into the global aid community. However, there’s little indication that this particular scandal will have a meaningful impact on how foreign aid supports development and social change.

After all, there have been plenty of aid scandals in the past, but instead of helping donor publics to develop a better grasp of the challenges involved they’ve reinforced a survival logic that focuses on quick wins instead of longer-term institutional, economic and social transformation.

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