'Good News for the Poor? Christianity and Overseas Development'
Wednesday 6th July 2011
We were privileged to welcome Loretta Minghella, Director of Christian Aid, to give a fascinating lecture on the relationship between faith and global development. Introduced by the Revd Chris Brice (founder-member of JustShare), she shared her insights and then took questions which ranged from the relative importance of relieving symptoms of poverty vs addressing its underlying structural causes, to the significance of her own identity as a women from a City background. As ever, discussions continued over La Riojana's Fairtrade wine.
Tuesday 28th June at 1.05pm
'Can you keep a promise? Spending 0.7% effectively on aid in the real world'
Speakers: Christine Allen (Director, Progressio) and Michael Green (Author of Philanthrocapitalism). Chair: the Revd Alison Warner, JustShare
We were delighted to welcome to expert panellists for this wide-ranging discussion on whether 0.7% of GDP is a useful target for DfID spending, and more broadly about the effectiveness of aid in its various guises anyway. Christine Allen welcomed the 0.7% target as a sign of commitment to international development but also noted that the quality of aid was important, not just quantity. NGOs needed to work with local communities and be accountable to them as well as to donors. Michael argued that the 0.7% target was a distraction. He suggested that we were not always able to spend the current aid budget effectively and wondered whether more money alone was the answer. Both speakers noted that when the public are asked how much they think we spend on aid, people say 5% or 10% - they don’t realise it’s so low that we have not even met the 0.7% target promised nearly 40 years ago. However, whether the public has an appetite for increasing aid spending is not clear. Michael argued that aid is too politicised and it would be much more effective to merge DfID and the Foreign Office again! Audience Q&A explored that proposal further and there was also discussion of the relationship between capital and NGOs; - the investment of capital is needed but large corporations were often part of the problems as well as potentially part of the solution.