Aid business

I was going to make this a rant about aid organisations and how dodgy they can be sometimes, but then i realized I need to think about this some more…

The article that got me thinking was written by Iman Muldoon and you can respond to his criticism of aid organisations portrayed in the November 2005 issue of ‘The University of Technology Sydney magazine’ U:, by emailing

Iman had a crack at a few aid organisations for over-paying visiting proffessionals to certain countries. An example given was that the UN requires all proffessionals to be flown business class for flights longer then 9 hours. Another example was that The International Bar Association paid a benefits package of around US$3000 a month for a professional to monitor legal developments in the country of Malawi, East Africa. So just where does your donation dollar go?

More importantly, how do we solve these problems? A solution proposed was that the professionals be sourced localy as much as possible, but often that is just not possible. So do we expect these professionals to make themselves available at less then market rates? Are they really needed? What do they do anyway?

Maybe thats a start. Aid organisations need to let people know whats going on. In this age of digital media it can’t be that hard! Can anyone even name more then 5 serious aid organisations (not including Red cross and the Salvos)?

Anyway – checkout the following site to get an idea on how big the aid industry is: and even have a look for a future job.

Please keep in mind that although a lot of these organisations are NPO, it is still within their best interestes to remain operating. Don’t get me started on the church and how its not audited, not required to pay taxes or possibly not even required to fill a tax return… So, where does your donation dollar go?

3 thoughts on “Aid business

  1. Hey Ange,Kudos to you for getting out there and making a difference! It takes guts. I think doing something important on a small scale, like you are doin’ Ange, is even more important than say, working for the UN. Because that’s where it’s happenin’ – at that level you are directly affecting the ppl and as you say, it’s gotta start somewhere.We’re always encouraged to ‘think big’, but I think we need to ‘think small’ in order to make a change. It reminds me of that Whacko Jacko song – ‘Man in the Mirror’. He talks about makin’ the world a better place by looking at yourself and makin’ a change. Course, it’s kinda ironic now, considering his reputation, but the idea is there.

  2. I agree..finally something i can relate to..thanks Damo..I am working for a small aid organisation (relying on volunteers only) called Ayni in Perú. Check out if you are interested in volunteering for a really worthwhile crew..or even donating money for food and medical supplies. I agree with the whole meddling with others lives..we do a lot of that here..but also what we try to educate the people that buying food for the family comes before buying a tv..these people are poor yet it’s the decisions they make on how to spend their money..We try to educate the them devise ways to make money..seeds from trees..growing vegetables..opening their own store..breeding animals..sometimes they become too dependent on us..what we want is them to be independent..confident that they are capable of changing their situataion..really I believe anyone can turn their lives around..they just have to want to change..Such interesting work..and there are so many cases around the world..i have to start somewhere..

  3. Yay! Some posts I can relate to. I don’t understand the accounting stuff… so I tend to avoid those posts. Sorry Damo, but I guess it just don’t peak my interest.I worry about aid organisations all the time. Even tho I donate to a few of them, I get really cynical when they send all these flashy publications that must cost quite a bit to produce. I just think about where they get the money for all their mail outs and marketing. But I think I donate out of guilt more than anything. I thought it was a genuine want to help, but I don’t think donating to aid organisations is really helping. However I’d rather my money go to them than something like McDonalds.I also wonder about the cultural intereference and how that affects “third world” countries being “aided” by these organisations. We just love meddling with others’ lives don’t we? It’s such a complex and frustrating issues – like many issues in life.

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