Posted by & filed under Connections.

It is always encouraging to read words from high-profile people which overlap Dadamac’s ideas and practical work.

The post below is extracted from “We need to radically rethink how we help refugees” by and Ravi Gurumurthy – the italics are mine.

We need to radically rethink how we help refugees

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Instead of creating parallel systems, humanitarians need to strengthen water, sanitation, housing, healthcare and education systems so that displaced people can access the services they need, alongside host populations. At the same time development actors must keep humanitarian goals in mind, ensuring that vulnerable individuals are able to access services and basic needs.

Second, in urban areas where economic markets are still functioning, most refugees do not need to be given food, clothing and blankets, they need cash. Cash allows them to choose what to buy, slashes the costs for NGOs of transporting bulky goods, and boosts local economies. Unfortunately, despite growing evidence to support this idea, only a relatively small amount of aid – an estimated 6% – is spent on cash transfers.

This illustrates the need for a third reform: for donors to make aid funding conditional on interventions that either generate new evidence about what works, or apply solutions that have already been rigorously tested and publish the cost-efficiency of every program in their annual accounts. This could have profound consequences.

Finally, if aid donors are serious about reaching more people and making a bigger difference to their lives, greater risk-taking and innovation should be encouraged. While most funding will rightly be tied to results, the aid world also needs a far larger research and development budget dedicated to finding cost-effective solutions that can work at scale.

(snip)

Full article –We need to radically rethink how we help refugees

Dadamac Foundation’s perspective and my italics

John Dada, one of Dadamac Foundation’s changemakers in Nigeria has a current concern for internally displaced people in his area. He is particularly interested in helping to address the educational needs of children who have been displaced. He is  exploring ways to support the displaced teachers and help them to serve the needs of the children. This is just part of his much wider integrated community development work.

I was attracted to the post above not specifically for its refugee focus, but more for its expression of needs for change that also have wider relevance for development actors. I’m writing about this because of my personal connections with Dadamac Foundation’s work with changemakers in Africa and my interests in deep systemic change and new approaches to international development.

Dadamac’s perspective echoes the need for reform and –  interventions that either generate new evidence about what works, or apply solutions that have already been rigorously tested and being serious about reaching more people and making a bigger difference to their lives

One of our connected initiatives helps people who are connected with practical initiatives to share their stories, and become visible so there is evidence about what works, and cost-effective solutions that can work at scale. See event on November 9th – video (2 mins 26 secs)

Our general concern and motivator is the disconnect between top down initiatives on one side and the knowledge and experience of people who are initiating solutions on the ground based on deep local connections on the other side. See It’s time to end this development disconnect

Any voice of authority spreading the message of need for reform in the development space is music to our ears.