On Monday there was a flurry of reports published on aid: DfID released its Annual Report for 2011-12; AidWatch released their report for 2012, ‘Aid We Can: more investment in global development’; and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Overseas Development Institute (ODI) released a report on British attitudes to aid, ‘Understanding public attitudes to aid and development’.
- vaccinating over 12 million children against preventable diseases
- supporting 5.3 million children (2.5 million of them girls) to go to primary school
- distributing 12.2 million bednets to protect people against malaria
- enabling 11.9 million people to work their way out of poverty by providing access to financial services
- preventing 2.7 million children and pregnant women from going hungryreaching 6 million people with emergency food assistance
- improving hygiene conditions for 7.4 million people
On publication of the report, Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell, said that he believed that “these are results of which everyone in the United Kingdom can be proud.”
Given that the focus of the RESULTS National Conference this year was making the case for aid in a difficult economic climate, those who came might be interested to hear that the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Overseas Development Institute (ODI) have just published a report on British attitudes to aid, ‘Understanding public attitudes to aid and development’.
Key to their findings was the argument that more needs to be done to communicate the value of development and spending. The report explains that “[i]nstead of a simple reassurance that ‘aid works, people would like to hear about how and why it works”. It called on us as development advocates to better communicate how aid can change people’s lives for the better.
These three reports certainly give us all some food for thought: there’s still much work to do to achieve the MDGs; we need to make a strong case for aid in a climate of concerning budget cuts to international development; and we need to ensure that we clearly communicate the results that we know well-targeted and effective aid delivers.