In community development, we often hear that foreigners should be the facilitator or technical assistant, while locals should take the lead in programmes. While I strongly believe that foreigners must embrace some fundamental values and attitude when practicing development in other countries, I also believe that the roles that foreigners and nationals play need not be so clearly defined. Despite so, I sometimes wonder how foreigners contribute more effectively.
Earlier this year, I was at a conference attended by some of the world’s top-notch development thinkers and researchers. In one particular session, a panel of development practitioners shared their work in NGOs, policymaking and social businesses. Usually, we tend to hear a lot of buzzwords like ‘sustainability’, ‘innovation’, ‘governance’ in conferences. But, during this particular panel, the words ‘love’, ‘relationship’ and ‘compassion’ were repetitively mentioned. I felt more awake all of the sudden.
“[Other than focusing only on policymaking and technical aspects of poverty reduction], we also need to create a powerful norm of care and compassion in society as a whole.”
The SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) have placed particular emphasis on alleviating extreme poverty. For the first time among global goals, child poverty is being specifically targeted and recognised. Universality is also acknowledged – no longer is child poverty a challenge of the Global South, but it is also present in relatively developed countries.
Say for Development had a conversation with Richard Morgan*, Director of Global Child Poverty Initiative at Save the Children, and Co-Chair of Global Coalition to End Child Poverty. With 30 years of ample experience working with children’s rights issues in both Save the Children and UNICEF, Richard shares his insights on addressing child poverty and the SDGs, how interventions around children’s rights have changed over the years, and most importantly, how to ensure that children receive love and affection.