The Duty of the Individual

From the foreword to The Economist’s Tale, by Peter Griffiths:

This book shows that it is individuals who cause poverty, underdevelopment and famine, by their actions, by their failure to act, and by their failure to speak up.

Some individuals chose to be incompetent, dishonest or downright evil. Some are pressed to be by their employers, their family or their society. Others tolerate incompetence, dishonesty or evil because they are afraid. They may be afraid that that they will lose their jobs and starve. They may be afraid that they will be beaten up or killed. Or they may be afraid that they will be seen to be making a fuss.

Workers in the aid industry have to bow to pressures from clients, consultancy firms, donor organisations and the whole aid system if they are to continue to work in aid. Like most of my colleagues, I try to do my best within the limits of what can be achieved. I suspect, though, that often I have acted within the limits of what is good for my career.

Unless the aid industry tackles this problem, it will achieve as little in the future as it has in the past.

In considering what contribution I can make to development, I am considering creating a website that can be a space for truthful discussion and inquiry into these and other issues.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in international development, poverty. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s