By Joshua Lindsey-Turner
Students from the University of Birmingham’s ASAP chapter hosted a panel of experts from across the development sector. More than 70 students, staff and members of the public attended the debate and contributed to the discussions. This was the first event hosted by the Birmingham Chapter and it has formed the foundations for a series of events planned for the Autumn and New Year.
The panelists at the May 30 event ranged from leaders of local development groups, to national figures and academics. Neil Squires, Head of Health Advisory Services for the UK Department for International Development, and Dr. Philip Amis of Birmingham’s International Development Department, offered diverging views on the processes and aims of large-scale government development aid. From Oxfam, Sophia Ireland explained how charities and NGOs are seeking to move away from traditional shock tactics – featuring photos of starving children, for example — to secure donations, and toward approaches that reflect the long-term nature of most poverty issues. Dr. Muhtari Amiu-Kano of Islamic Relief, an aid organization working in several countries, argued for the importance of fair trade and arms restrictions.
Questions and audience dialogue focused on the future of development aid post 2015, and questions ranged from issues surrounding strategic aid to Afghanistan to the importance of education for African girls.
The debate was chaired by Joshua Lindsey-Turner and Bianca Moodie, the first Chair and Vice-Chair of the Birmingham Chapter. It was supported by funding from the School of Government and Society at the University of Birmingham.
To find out more about the Birmingham ASAP Students Chapter, you can Like the group on Facebook or follow it on Twitter.
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