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Nik Gill

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Can first world countries spend their overseas aid budgets more effectively?

On March 20th 2013, Great Britain's government firmly backed a legislation that would ensure that 0.7% (~£11 Billion) of Gross National Income will be spent on Overseas Aid.

With many skeptics feeling that this money is often wasted or better spent in more important areas, how would you like to see this money spent to change the perception that International Aid isn't effective?

Myself and Maddy Nash would love to hear your thoughts!

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  • Mar 28 2013: Yes or course. Let me first stipulate that the assumption of "first world" is rated. And behemoths like the US give a tiny present of their GDP .50% yet right ring media has convinced millions of dolts and dullards that this and the safety net are the reasons for the budget deficit they created. But that aside there is a book which points out how foreign aid is often the result of paternalistic theory and fundamentally throws money into waiting corruption traps whereas the smarter thing is to make funding available from the "ground up" to those who have discovered and can substantiate opportunity to fix problems of create economy. It's title is a bit scary: it's called "White Man's Burden- Why the west's attempt to help the rest has often done so little good or made things worse" or word close to that effect. It's by William Easterly and it gives a balancing view to the likes of a Jeffrey Sachs. I have all of Sachs books so I have been a fan. But Easterly's work is a worthy dissent.
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      Mar 29 2013: Hi James!

      Thanks for raising your view on this to us! We will most definitely read further details on the book online as it sounds as though its a culmination of thoughts that as you say, give a balanced view on what's been happening with overseas aid investment.

      Do you have any thoughts on how we can make sure the budgets donated go to projects from the ground up? This links back to a few other comments on how money is getting ultimately to those in need & investments need to be made more transparent.

      We'll do more reading around the book suggested and provide our thoughts on this too.

      Thanks James,
      Nik
      • Mar 29 2013: Oh lord yes. I've devoted most of my later life (since the end of the Cold War when I was 35 years of age in 1990) to the ideals of the Earth Summit held in 1992 which was to develop long term measures to avert future conflicts by pooling national converting some war industries into cooperative development that would establish a new history of wasteful war prevention that would be a double-win by also achieving employment and higher standards of living in poorer countries that would last. I was not aware at the time I tried to be one of the leaders to fulfill this common-sense movement that the US would actually be against it and be under the mis-leadership of the first Bush and his petroleum-imperialist Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney, who would cheerlead for the first Gulf war and then start the second 10 years later as younger Bush's VP.

        My main idea (this was before the Internet became the big phenomenon was to document the Earth Summit in a new form of digital journalism and cyclically follow the sustainable development movement so that the new medium would plug "corruption holes" that exist in print media and broadcast. I have invented models of political discourse which involve converting parts of education into bridging the "intel" gap where students could be empowered by a kind of "microfinance" to become journalists who would contribute to encompassing digital historianship which every modern person who have to buy into to remain "modern" and competent". But creating a new market, based on a new approach to journalism that brings about a sustainable development engine which has so many enemies in the arms trade and corruption circles is something venture capitalists shy away from. I need an "angel investor"--a lot of things have come along to make this affordable and it won't take year and years to produce a profit. But at that it takes still a lot of money and a lot less squabbling as to whose idea is better.
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          Mar 29 2013: Hi James!

          It's great for us to speak with someone who has been fighting this cause for a long while!

          Using a 'new media' that had not yet been corrupted by government influences is a great idea. Do you think we can use existing media, more specifically social media to drive change also? e.g. can we document initiatives like that of the Earth Summit on YouTube so that it is more visible to the wider public what is happening? Can we use Twitter?

          We can all be 'journalists' online but i guess the problem is driving everyone to see what you have created to then in turn communicate what you want with the right audience.

          We'll definitely be reading that book you recommended over the weekend!

          Thanks James,
          NIk

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