David Ker has posted a superb little thought piece on dependency in development work.

The problem is we’re such easy prey. Idealists and change-the-world kinds of people are always blinded by their own self-righteousness to the human depravity that waits to divert their good intentions for personal gain…

… There seems to be a new fad wherein donors want to “actually be involved.” So they blow in, lots of people get together. Lots of goats are killed. Speeches are made. And the donors return home with terrific photos of their ministry in Africa.  It’s a mirage. Folks like me get to stand by and watch the aftermath. It’s not a pretty sight. Either there is no change beyond heartburn from overeating or the foreigners only succeed in propping up marginal members of society with money and motorbikes while the few folks with integrity carry on as before. read more

These are hard things to say, and not everyone will agree with David’s conclusions – but we have to be asking these questions.

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