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Are we the right people to achieve the SDGs?

Photo by Sydney Rae on Unsplash

There is something inherently odd when the people who finance projects for change, and the people who implement them, and the people who evaluate them, all generally come from the same social status and background.

But one which is totally the opposite of the people whose problems they are trying to solve.

I accept that philanthropy and international charitable giving, will always have some of these imbalances, but should we not be looking to reduce these as much as possible?

If we truly believe in reducing inequality and poverty, in achieving the Sustainable

Development Goals by 2030 (just round the corner), would it not be better to get more people who are living these issues to be driving how we solve them?

Is it not logical to trust that those non-profits and grassroots organisations, rooted in the same communities that they are supporting, and experiencing the same problems they want to solve, have a better understanding of what needs to be done?

Even within the microcosm of our lives, we don’t want someone who has no understanding of the problems we are going through to make decisions that impact our lives. We want those people to listen to us, to collaborate with us contributing their experience and knowledge, and if they are interested, to facilitate what we’re trying to achieve.

Our approach to international development, whether we are an individual or an institution, should be no different. We need to trust that those non-profits most responsive to their communities know what they’re doing.

Our input is simply to facilitate their mission.

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