Tuesday, February 06, 2007

International Development Week

Being here in Nairobi, I haven't experience too many events involving International Development Week in Canada... however, I'm not too sure how many Canadians are even aware of the week and will be participating in the events an International Development Week. Well, I hope that I will be proven wrong and see Canadians at least try to learn more about the world around us through one of the organized events hosted by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) or trying to look up on the web different development initiatives taking place every day on the other side of the world or even in your own backyard.

I try to follow as closely as possible the different funded programmes that come through town like the Global Aids campaign or organizations setting up the marketing for selling and distributing mosquito nets to the country. It's great to see these programmes happening but it is also important to be critical about these programmes and looking to see that their plans attempt to be local (local staff and local materials) and self-sustainable. The other important aspect is to see that people try to evaluate their successes or challenges and look for ways of improvement vs. just securing funding. Development is not just a donation; it's ensuring that people grow out of poverty through their own decisions and choices and that we try to support their decisions by helping them influence government or look for ways of access to their very dire needs.

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