Thursday, 16 June 2011

How much does your government spend on aid?

Ok, the Brits don't know how much they spend on Aid either. To be fair, I'm not entirely sure what South Africa spends, although I'd probably guess lower, not higher. Back to representations of poor people and nothing changing (in the representations) in decades and decades of spending? 

I was thinking about representations again the other day while visiting a rural project site. Here was a group (like so many others) self-organising, self-directing and with a very little bit of help from outside (in the form of training and resources) making a change for their own families. I guess the fear is that representing poor people as multi-faceted individuals in complex communities, driven primarily out of concern for themselves and their families (just like everyone else) might discourage giving. I'm not sure that'd be true in the longer-term, and it would certainly be a more honest representation of poor Africans and the realities of aid and development work, success and failure.

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