Amateurs vs. Professionals: A Complex Issue – Aid Debates
Posted on November 1, 2010 at 11:08 am
There is an ongoing debate in the aid world about role and impact of volunteers and/or amateurs in aid and development work. The debate was rekindled with Nicholas Kristof’s recent article in the New York Times Magazine titled The D.I.Y. Foreign-Aid Revolution.
Dave Algoso, author of the “Don’t Try This Abroad” article, has also responded to readers’ comments in a series of posts on his own blog Find What Works:
- DIY follow-up, part 1 of 5: How complicated can things really be?
- DIY follow-up, part 2 of 5: Questions of elitism. (Or: Just what is a “professional”?)
- DIY follow-up, part 3 of 5: Improving the development industry. (Or: Don’t the professionals screw things up too?)
- DIY follow-up, part 4 of 5: So what is the role for people who don’t fit your definition of “professional”?
The complexity of this issue is apparent in the fact that several bloggers have written multi-part posts on the topic. Here are other blog posts and articles on this same topic.
I’m with Ivan Illich on this one, sort of - humanitarian.info
Enough of the charity mentality – Wait… What?
Foreign Aid: Should it be a “DIY” project? – Changemakers.com
D.I.Y. Foreign-Aid for Dummies – Zanaa
The plural of anecdote isn’t data - Brian Swartz
For Aid Effectiveness, People Matter – Hauser Center
Is D.I.Y. Foreign Aid Really Enough? – The World Insight
What’s missing from the DIY aid debate? – How Matters
Do It Yourself - From Congo
My thoughts on DIY aid - Justice for All
What Makes Someone and Aid Professional? - Good Intentions are Not Enough
The Revolution Will Not Be Donor-Harmonized – World Bank Blog
In defense of Nicholas Kristof - stagonastithalassa
The Development Elite – on my way
Good Grassroots Development- Don’t Make Me Call it DIY - Stratosphere International
J. over at Tales from the Hood also wrote a two post response:
Texas in Africa jumped into the debate looking at the science behind Kristof’s argument with – how social scientists think: edition Kristof
The Future of Aid and Development? - The Huffington Post written by Tom Murphy
Women and D.I.Y. Foreign Aid – Foreign Policy Blogs
Here are posts written on the topic long before Kristof’s article:
US Aid Professionals to American Volunteers: Stay Home – MIT Global Challenge Notebook
and my response post: If this were you, what skills and abilities would you want from a voluntourist?
Why Does it Keep Happening? – A View from the Cave
- Amateurs, professionals, innovations and smart aid
- Deconstructing volunteering and overseas exchanges
on entrepreneurship and NGOs - penelope m.c.
Do you need to be a “professional” to change the world? – Lessons I Learned
I’m sure I’ve missed some posts – please feel free to tweet the to me @good_intents or leave them in the comment section of this blog.
I’ve previously written a series of posts on volunteering overseas and will be writing a post specifically on this topic soon.
- Guideline #1: Good Volunteer Projects Require a Significant Commitment of Time
- Guideline #2: Don’t Volunteer to do What a Local Person Could be Paid to do
- Guideline #3: Examine Your Motivations
- Guideline #4: Manage Your Expectations