Global development - so much more needed

Written by Mel Dunn

Global Development – So Much More Needed

The tragic events resulting fromrepparttar recent Tsunami on Boxing Day 2004 serve to again highlightrepparttar 132151 fragile nature of many ofrepparttar 132152 world’s communities. In each of these locationsrepparttar 132153 key tasks of treatingrepparttar 132154 sick and injured, ensuring clean water was available, or made available, providing food, accommodation and so on was critically important as a first step onrepparttar 132155 way to rebuilding these communities.

What further serves to highlightrepparttar 132156 magnitude of challenges facingrepparttar 132157 world as a whole, isrepparttar 132158 fact that many other activities alongrepparttar 132159 development continuum continue to be in operation, or needed. In many cases these are needed inrepparttar 132160 same countries affected by this tragedy.

Adam Gilchrist ofrepparttar 132161 Australian cricket team, duringrepparttar 132162 telecast ofrepparttar 132163 Tsunami relief match, commented with interest that within a very short period followingrepparttar 132164 disaster, hundreds of millions of dollars became available to supportrepparttar 132165 needs ofrepparttar 132166 affected communities. Yet he commented further that 15,000 people each day die unnecessarily in Africa from disease. His point was not to devaluerepparttar 132167 Tsunami relief contribution, but rather to highlightrepparttar 132168 need for ongoing commitment from those who are more fortunate in assisting those most in need.

So much more is needed.

As was seen inrepparttar 132169 early stages ofrepparttar 132170 relief effort,repparttar 132171 citizens ofrepparttar 132172 world are incredibly generous and compassionate and recognise that we all can do something -repparttar 132173 sum of all parts can make a difference.

While each of us has different personal circumstances, which definerepparttar 132174 type of support or involvement we can offer, there are plenty of options. These options can be as simple as a donation or sponsoring involvement, to volunteering internationally or domestically, or making long-term career decisions to be involved in development.

The Australian Government has shown a great lead through activities such asrepparttar 132175 Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development Program (AYAD) ( The program places young Australians on short- to medium-term assignments through which they haverepparttar 132176 opportunity to employ their skills, as well as develop a greater understanding ofrepparttar 132177 development needs of our neighbours.

Similarly, organisations such as Australian Volunteers International ( supportrepparttar 132178 recruitment, placement, preparation and management of volunteers forrepparttar 132179 purpose of working towardsrepparttar 132180 sustainable development of communities. (It should be noted here thatrepparttar 132181 Australian government, through AusAID, is a major fund source for these programs).

Of course, volunteering for either short- or long-term assignments is not possible for everyone, which is fine. The astounding statistics relating torepparttar 132182 level of donation forrepparttar 132183 Tsunami relief effort suggests that clearly there are many of us who have done other things, in whatever way we could, to offer support. Similarly, many of us sponsor children through organisations such as Plan ( and World Vision (

All of this helps.

What aboutrepparttar 132184 link betweenrepparttar 132185 commercial aspects ofrepparttar 132186 development industry andrepparttar 132187 benefits it is meant to deliver?

So often in conversations I hear statements such as “consultants are getting paid too much”, “firms are making too much profit” and so on.

Are these statements fair?

First of all I would think it a unique situation in any industry if there were not a difference in earnings between certain individuals and different organisations. So at some point in all industries, “they are making too much” is going to be heard. Just because it is said does not mean it is valid.

Secondly, there are a lot of high quality organisations (and Australia has many) that continue to provide quality solutions to contribute to sustainable development. While we would all certainly hope thatrepparttar 132188 need for development activities would disappear, this is not likely inrepparttar 132189 near future. So for organisations to continue to provide quality inputs, they also need to be sustainable.

Getting involved in global development

Written by Mel Dunn


Australia is blessed with an incredible pool of talent and experience, across a broad range of industries, and it is this expertise that could provide significant and sustainable benefits intorepparttar communities where a development initiative is targeted.

The challenge for many firms and individuals wishing to participate in development activities is in understandingrepparttar 132150 intricacies ofrepparttar 132151 process to secure involvement. Activities through agencies such asrepparttar 132152 Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID),repparttar 132153 World Bank andrepparttar 132154 Asian Development Bank, are usually let through a public, competitive tendering process. Adding to this challenge isrepparttar 132155 fact that in almost all cases,repparttar 132156 process is different for each agency.

Myth – thatrepparttar 132157 development industry is different.

Well of course it is, as are all industries – different clients, different products, different channels to market, different cultures, different environments, different risks etc.

What makes itrepparttar 132158 same isrepparttar 132159 need to ensure client needs are met, if not exceeded, and that products and services are as desired/needed, not imposed.

So how do you get involved? Is it luck? It is skill? Is it people, products or services?

All and more I am sure.

A key step often required isrepparttar 132160 need to demonstrate experience, understanding, value, sustainability of strategies etc to those assessing a tender.

Reality Check - Successful tenders must be compliant torepparttar 132161 requirements ofrepparttar 132162 request, must be price competitive, and need to findrepparttar 132163 balance betweenrepparttar 132164 technical requirements ofrepparttar 132165 response andrepparttar 132166 selling nature ofrepparttar 132167 process.

One ofrepparttar 132168 most important aspects of development initiatives is their ability to produce sustainable outcomes intorepparttar 132169 communities within whichrepparttar 132170 activities take place. Consequently, learning from past activities assists to shaperepparttar 132171 style of future initiatives. For firms or individuals seeking participation, understanding how such learning could modify development approaches is a critical step in determiningrepparttar 132172 type and level of involvement to target.

Fact – learning from past activities continues to shape future interventions.

The Development Market Today

The following points are some key observations aboutrepparttar 132173 directions [approaches] being taken inrepparttar 132174 provision of development assistance. These directions haverepparttar 132175 potential to impact on any strategy organisations and individuals might adopt to enter, maintain, or increase their involvement:

•Funds are being diverted from government aid agencies to other government departments for sector-specific programs •There is a continuing trend to devolve more decision making torepparttar 132176 offshore post ofrepparttar 132177 donor country, away fromrepparttar 132178 ‘central’ headquarters •An increase in donor co-ordination and collaboration where, for example,repparttar 132179 USA [through USAID] and Australia [through AusAID] might align program approaches to avoid duplication and other associated impediments, into a sector-wide approach •A trend seeing more assistance being aligned to foreign policy where, for example, security and regional stability could influence aid disbursement •Bilateral donors are opening their markets, allowing for individuals and organisations to compete for once closed opportunities •There is an increasing trend for a move to larger activities, such as sector-wide approaches, as opposed to specific project interventions •Scale and global reach is likely to be an important criteria in winning and managing major programs •Relationships and networks in country with donor representatives, recipient governments, local organisations and development professionals are becoming increasingly important.

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