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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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9 Responses

  1. Phil Perspective
    Phil Perspective April 27, 2013 at 4:47 pm |

    The NGOs are the ones setting the agenda — they come in with an idea for a project and they execute it with plentiful funding, without a whole lot of input from the people who actually live here.

    Why? Is it that the U.S., and others like us, have to control everything? And don’t the NGO’s know that’s not the way to promote mutual trust? It’s not a new question, certainly, but it seems we always make the same mistakes.

    1. Miriam
      Miriam April 27, 2013 at 6:16 pm |

      It’s time, access, and money based on what I’ve seen of development work in Morocco. Real bottom up work takes time to do because it involves building relationships, having conversations, having the awareness to analyze the conversations (ethnographic research). It’s not as simple as just partnering or hiring people from the country (which most NGOs do to some degree) because the people who generally have the language skills and educational background to be hired are also outsiders to the project area.

      Unfortunately, grants work in cycles and are often administered by agencies who don’t understand or have patience for the amount of time that building relationships takes (often due to their own accountability constraints, though). So NGOs need to document a certain amount of progress by a certain amount of time. Also, they probably were not able to budget significant time for ethnographic research because development doesn’t work that way.

      I would bet that France is as much or more a key player here than in the US.

      1. Siobhan
        Siobhan April 27, 2013 at 7:18 pm |

        In addition to that I know that if the NGOs are being funded through CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) there is a requirement to involve Canadians in the work. So NGOs end up hiring Canadian consultants, bringing in Canadian volunteers & staff, and often paying Canadian companies for imported materials & equipment. In other words, most of the aid money just ends up funneled back into our own country instead of creating jobs for locals or putting money into local businesses.

        I would be very shocked if the US didn’t have similar requirements for aid funding.

  2. CanadaGoose
    CanadaGoose April 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm |

    Could you mention what “JCI” stands for?

    1. matlun
      matlun April 27, 2013 at 6:05 pm |

      I am curious, too.

      It is an organization that can be found here, but as far as I can see, it is not clear whether the letters actually stand for anything.

      1. Siobhan
        Siobhan April 27, 2013 at 8:54 pm |

        I found it in their privacy policy here – Jaycees International is the not-for-profit & Junior Chamber International is the community group(s). “Together, these two entities are collectively referred to as JCI”.

    2. Joe from an alternate universe
      Joe from an alternate universe May 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm |

      I was a member of the Jaycees for 13 years, a director for 8, and a VP for 2 years.

      If you’re between the ages of 21 and 40 in the U.S (it used to be 18 to 36, but was changed when I was a member). It’s a great organization to join. In fact, most of my lifetime friends are former Jaycees.

  3. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 April 28, 2013 at 8:37 pm |

    I read in a news article–I believe it was the BBC–that some Haitians are being “evicted” from their makeshift homes by the government (who are likely acting on behalf of developers).

    Seems like a punch below the belt. Lose your home to an earthquake, almost drown in a hurricane, finally put together a tent from scraps, and then the government tears it down.

    I’ve seen the same thing in documentaries on India. Families living on the beach in a shantytown, and then the government levels it with bulldozers.

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