OpenCanada is pleased to be partnering with the Globe and Mail and War Child to introduce Canadians to four innovative humanitarians: Samantha Nutt, Vijayendra Rao, George Roter and Scott Gilmore. Over the course of the week, each will propose an innovation to the practice of aid in the op-ed pages of the Globe and Mail, and be interviewed by OpenCanada below. The discussion will culminate with a panel on the topic at the University of Toronto on Thursday evening. We invite you to check back regularly for the latest commentary on the future of humanitarianism.
Dr. Samantha Nutt introduces the series:
2011 saw its fair share of global crises, from the remodelling of North Africa’s political landscape to a harrowing number of cataclysmic disasters – some natural, but most manmade – and was bookended by a global “Occupy” movement that swept across the developed world. All of this upheaval illuminated the crucial role that responsible development and humanitarianism play in creating a more just and equitable world.
2012 has already highlighted a number of challenges for the aid community. On the heels of the second anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake that devastated Haiti’s infrastructure, the country still has over half a million civilians living in tent cities, their young girls defenceless against sexual predators. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a recent attack in South Kivu killed 45 – a mere two months after a national election that promised hope for peace in the war-ravaged country. And in South Sudan, reports of violence and gruesome attacks are practically daily occurrences. So, where are we headed? How can we deliver aid in fragile states? Why does the aid community continue to trade in missed opportunities?
This series will present important dialogues between experts in the fields of aid, economics, and development that will explore the issues facing the humanitarian community, share what the aid sector is doing right (and wrong), and outline what we might do differently.
By Dr. Samantha Nutt, founder of War Child and author of Damned Nations
Taylor Owen interviews Peace Dividend Trust founder Scott Gilmore about why government aid doesn’t work. For more, read his Globe and Mail op-ed: “Poverty reduction depends on entrepreneurs, not aid.”
Taylor Owen interviews War Child founder Dr. Samantha Nutt about the emergent public-private aid model. For more, read her Globe and Mail op-ed: “Should NGOs take the corporate bait?.”
Taylor Owen interviews Engineers Without Borders co-founder George Roter about why an aid project cannot be treated like a construction project. For more, read his Globe and Mail op-ed: “Less Infrastructure, More Institutions.”
Anouk Dey interviews the World Bank’s Vijayendro Rao about why poor implementation is often the weakest link in aid effectiveness. For more, read his Globe and Mail op-ed: ‘In Foreign Aid, Failure is Essential to Learning.”