Awaiting World Vision’s Response
Posted on February 16, 2011 at 8:55 am
UPDATE: World Vision did respond to some questions posed by Aid Watch. It was posted late Wednesday night.
It’s been five days since World Vision last addressed criticisms to their NFL t-shirt donation program. Their response at that time did little to address the concerns and questions of their critics. In fact, 34 posts have been written by bloggers since World Vision’s response.
Of the 47 posts (excluding World Vision’s) that have been written on the controversy thus far. Two have been in favor of the program (one of those was written by a world vision staff member), and 45 are critical of the program. These posts have been written by aid workers, business people, the diaspora, donors, and one person living in a country scheduled to receive the t-shirts.
While on the surface this may appear to be a silly debate over t-shirts, in reality this is a debate over the professionalism of the aid industry. World Vision is a major player in the aid world, they work in 96 countries on 5 continents. World Vision has played a major role in the creation of many industry standards and are signatories to many others including:
- Red Cross Code of Conduct and the INGO Accountability Charter.
- the Sphere Project
- Humanitarian Accountability Project (HAP),
- the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Practice (ALNAP),
- People in Aid (PIA)
- the Emergency Capacity Building Project (ECB)
- Association of Evangelical Relief and Development Organizations (AERDO) Standards
- InterAction Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) Standards
This fight is not just about 100,000 shirts. It’s about whether a leader in the aid industry, and the aid industry as a whole, is going to follow the standards they’ve set for themselves. And in following standards, not just the letter of the standard, but the spirit of the standard. Another question is whether the standards are good enough.
The post Changes Needed does a great job of laying out three changes that we need now in the nonprofit sector:
- Revise existing standards
- Remove “overhead” from the conversation
- Relentlessly insist on good practice
This debate is about far more than just shirts. This debate is about asking the questions: where are we now, where are we going, and what standards are we going to hold ourselves accountable to?
Hopefully today’s response from World Vision will answer some of these questions.
For all posts written about this controversy see Tracking the World Vision / NFL Shirt Donation Controversy