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International Development & African Diaspora

Understanding International Development: Past, Present and Future of the Aid Sector

Understanding International Development: Past, Present and Future of the Aid Sector


About this Event

In partnership with SSAP Youth and Hub Cymru Africa .

This is part of 'Reframing the Narrative' Project that aims to decolonise the sector by exploring and discovering how images of Africa are presented. It is 1 of 4 webinars.

“All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.” Albert Einstein.

The growth in aid sector over the last few years has become an increasingly important part of contemporary international relations and foreign policies. However, the merging of the Department of International Development (DFID) with the Foreign Office has been heavily criticised by the development sector. For many developing countries, relations with development agencies have become a central part of their international affairs, and for some of the most aid dependent states, foreign assistance has become central to their ability to provide domestic services to their population.

For Western states, foreign aid has become an instrument for achieving international objectives including the cultivating of political allies, opening markets, fighting terrorism, and constructing regimes of global governance. The provision of foreign aid has also been very controversial. From early missionaries in developing countries; state sponsored projects such as the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO); the infamous ‘Structural Adjustment Policies’ by International Monetary Fund (IMF) the shortcomings of ‘The Millennium Development Goals’ and bureaucratic nature of ‘Sustainable Development Goals’.

We will explore how the process of social change and development has been understood and practiced throughout history. This exploration will begin by examining the origins of development in Europe during the Enlightenment and its subsequent evolution into an institutionalized and specialized academic area of study after the Second World War. Ideas of progress and modernity, deriving from the Enlightenment, have underpinned and influenced understandings of development. These ideas have shaped the sector today based on our assumptions of the path, goals and direction all civilizations should head.

With reflections on the sector in Wales, development will be illustrated alongside its connections to and relationships with: empire, colonialism, modernization, decolonization and global inequality.

Join us as we explore the ideologies, periods and events in history that have shaped and reshaped how development is conceived and practiced in the twenty-first century – all through virtual images.


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