Charity & aid system: we think too much….

hombregloboscabeza (1)We think and debate too much…, and this dialectic exercise leads to a terrible negative impact that are narrowing possibilities for a bigger and better fund donation system; instead of searching for practical solutions we are just discussing over the same theoretical side. Rhetoric brings passion and excitement to our analysis, but if we do not arrive to effective and tangible solutions, is just an exercise of brainstorming with no results.

In time of crises, stressing the “result” factor is absolutely essential. Maybe that is the reason why the humanitarian sector is failing: not getting results despite strong, active and on going discussion. As I have mentioned in previous articles about the “Unsustainability of current humanitarian aid system”[1], we ought to search for new paths of solutions through an active and integrated action. That focus is the one that could bring new approaches and new guidelines for an effective and efficient fund donation system.

We are currently going through different and interconnected crises like financial and migration, consequently we are more demanded and pressed to get results in the short-term. Recent global financial crisis has both negative sides: to be global and to impact all sectors, particularly the humanitarian. In addition, a growing sense of distrust towards traditional humanitarian structure, high levels of corruption in countries recipients of foreign aid and important foreign aid budget reductions from developed countries shape a framework that lead to the conclusion that aid funds should be get through different inlets and not focus just on official aid.

Current humanitarian sector have shown failures on its financial management as well as not being enough accountable redounded in more vulnerability for the sector with a worrying financial and institutional future. Rethinking institutional relationships and management of financial resources are just some of many elements to be addressed by official aid organizations in relation to donations.

The case of Haiti[2] shows the lack of accountability over donations and a mismanagement of funds. What would be the stage if those donations had been done directly? Probably the diversification of funds would be an asset for assuring a rational distribution. As not always the centralization of resources is good for an effective response.

Haiti is just another example of the need to be more accountable, more transparent and more open to new forms of donation on the context of an aid-structured system.

As usual when the solutions do not come at time, the reality does it by itself and spontaneously new forms of aid contributions are appearing as a way current unsafe donation system: “It’s hard to be absolutely sure that your money is going where you intended…” [3]

Give cash directly to the recipients without the intervention of an aid organization is just one more alternative to struggle against poverty by empowering people. It should be considered in the context of a wider aid strategy in which basic needs of education, health, etc. are covered. All forms of aid are welcomed and all could work together in a harmonic relationship.

The combination of charity and official aid contributions is what could make a real difference, being able to face challenges of financial shocks and general uncertainty on funds donation´s future.

In the context of an extreme vulnerable global financial system, communities in need could only rely on a solid, wide and open system in which they could trust beyond corrupt governments, financial shocks or mismanagement of aid funds. More than ever we need to address fund donations challenges through the lens of a practical mind rather than an intellectual one.

 

[1] http://bit.ly/1IM2ZDH

[2] http://cnn.it/1Nx4kjq

[3] http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/24/pf/donations-charities/

 

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