Originally delivered as a keynote address at the 2019 Development Studies Association conference, this article argues that it is not possible to 'open up' development without openly addressing the fact that it suffers from a 'white gaze' problem. One way of doing so is to mainstream race into development analyses in the same way that gender and class have been mainstreamed. #shareholderagendas
You can also listen to a podcast interview with Robtel Neajai Pailey on racism in development here.
"In its crudest form, development has traditionally been about dissecting the political, socio‐economic and cultural processes of black, brown and other subjects of colour in the so‐called global South and finding them regressive, particularly in comparison to the so‐called progressive global North."
An alternative vision for what international development could be if racial and ethnic deprivation were recognised, this blog post makes the case for writing off developing country debt without caveats, reinstating ancestral ownership rights over land from land-grabbing, and for an apology for the psychological and physical impacts of exploitation. #reparations
“It is naive to think that placing a person of colour at the top of organisations can reverse decades of systemised oppression, though it is an important step.”
Khan argues that despite the recent rhetoric and calls for change on 'decolonising' development and anti-racism in aid, two problems remain. First, these calls centre voices from or settled in the Global North and second, aid 'recipients' in the Global South are entirely excluded from the discussion. Nor do they address the question of whether aid should even continue. Initiatives such as The Equity Index itself demonstrate that Northern aid institutions are 'not planning on going anywhere.' #globalsouth
"It is time for us ‘recipients’ in the Global South to not only take control of the conversation about racism in aid, but also of the objectives, utility, and control of aid objectives itself. Unless we do so, racism in aid will continue, as will the collateral damage it causes."
The Guardian commentator Jason Hickel proposes that the usual development narrative is backwards. Finding that the flow of money from poor to rich countries far exceeds the inverse, the comprehensive assessment of resource transfers cited indicates that for every $1 of aid received, $24 is purportedly lost when comparing capital inflows and outflows, through mechanisms of trade misinvoicing, tax havens, fake prices, huge interest payments on debt and repatriated foreign income. #capitalflows #taxjustice
“Poor countries don’t need charity. They need justice.”
Insight from the team at the Global Fund for Community Foundations (GFCF) into ‘durable development’, a new paradigm to replace the old norms of the project-centric mindset. Using data on 20 indicators measuring bonding, bridging and linking social capital to GFCF partners, they advocate attributing agency to community philanthropy organisations to mobilise local resources. #mutualaccountability #ShiftThePower
“Power matters because efforts to solve a problem only last while people with the problem take responsibility for it.”
Outlining a decolonial research strategy in international development, Rutazibwa discusses the hegemonic global Northern canon of knowledge production in development. This piece invites a review of the purpose and contents of syllabi, disciplines and international development curricula. #academicresearch #knowledgeproduction
“The empiricist, linearly incremental, competitive, zero-sum, logic of colonial knowledge production continues to dominate the field.”
A London School of Economics (LSE) blog discusses the increasing tendency for academic international development research to be funded by short-term competitive grants, then incorporated into aid funding. By requiring outputs at a high pace, such funding can reinforce racial inequalities by perpetuating colonial origins and framings, silencing non-white voices in the process of publication. Rather, equity and transparency in the allocation of funding and collective deliberation are needed. #academicresearch
“The very fact that I, as a white European researcher, can carry out research in regions like Tanganyika rests on a complex racial infrastructure that allows me to access these areas while guaranteeing that the brunt of the risk is borne by other (non-white) researchers.”