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.
More information: Luis Cabrera firstname.lastname@example.org
ASAP president Thomas Pogge spoke at TEDx Yale on the connection between market incentives and poverty alleviation:
Board member Gilad Tanay spoke at the same TEDx event discussing the ethics of being born in an unfair world:
More than 100 academics, students and development professionals gathered at Yale University to debate the legacy and possible future of large-scale development aid at ASAP’s One-Year Anniversary meeting.
Yale Professor Emeritus Gus Ranis, a top administrator at US Aid under the Johnson Administration, gave insight from his decades of experience in the field and classroom, and he stressed the continuing importance of promoting local ownership of development projects. Hugh Evans, a youth leader of the 2005 Make Poverty History Campaign, shared his experiences getting young people involved through his multi-country Global Poverty Project, and leveraging their involvement to secure large-scale commitments for overseas aid.
Phillip Alston, a Professor of Law at New York University who has filled several high-level human rights roles for the United Nations, offered an insider’s view of the UN Millennium Development Goals effort, and of recent talks to determine what should replace the MDGs when they expire in 2015. World Bank Lead Economist Branko Milanovic shared his most recent findings on global inequality and its importance to numerous issues around global poverty, and ASAP Board Chair Thomas Pogge of Yale encouraged those present to put their energy and academic expertise to use within the ASAP network.
Earlier in the day, ASAP Board members gave updates from efforts underway in India, the United States, the UK and elsewhere. Those include the launch of a pilot ASAP Students group at the University of Birmingham, the development of the All Rights India project in Delhi, aimed at better publicizing the entitlements actually held by India’s poor persons, and the development of an ASAP internship program at Yale.