In my last NGO role in 2008 I was a regional finance manager in charge of 14 country offices for a boutique INGO based in the UK. At the time I was thrilled to bits as I had landed my dream job...However, it proved to be a turning point and I permanently left the international development scene in disgust and anger at the level of professional incompetence and corruption.
Fast forward to May 2011 and I was watching a debate about foreign aid and one of the participants made a comment which vindicated by career change. He explained how western foreign aid budgets were engineered to create middle classes in the third world that would assist in the exploitation of natural resources that the western economies badly needed. It was supposed to be a win-win situation as the exploited natural resources were converted into consumer goods which would flow back into the third world.
Well I have to admit I have enjoyed Red Bull and the wifi in some weird and wonderful places but the poor appeared to getting poorer...
Foreign aid is really 'foreign aids' and the developing world will only catch up through good governance coupled with international trade.
And I find the Con-Dem slashes to public sector especially in higher education deeply offensive while we lavish major donations to despots, albeit ‘elected’ in some cases, across the world such as £600 million to President Zardari of Pakistan...Why don't the Pakistani people ask their rulers to put their money where there mouth is and wire some of those billions stashed in Swiss bank accounts!