The way we look at international development is changing and it needs to change! Last week I went to a talk run by Business Fights Poverty and Care International called ‘The changing face of development : the role of the private sector’. The ideas of companies getting involved in doing good things in other countries is not new. A question that really got me thinking was ‘What does it take in practice for companies to really contribute to development beyond fulfilling their corporate social responsibility agendas?
I believe in practice, if perceptions of development are to change, the way countries are portrayed and the stories that need to emerge from them are so important. I highlighted the great work of the Guardian Newspaper regarding the Katine Project in Uganda. Having the media lens on Katine helped the public get a better understanding of development issues. The way in which ‘developing’ countries and how people of such vibrant nations are viewed, needs to change. Positive stories enable this to happen. Not everything happening is positive, but the successes of development need to be shown and celebrated if the perceptions/views are to change in order to see the potential for the counties, people, communities and businesses.
Today, I will be attending a talk given by Bill and Melinda Gates about a project called Living Proof . It marks The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation collaborating with ONE.org in order to show the real lives and real progress that is going on world-wide, to address global issues. A project like this will enable the public, business and people to change the way they look at global issues!! Progress is being made, yet like most things in life so much more can be done.