Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Life after aid work: When the ground begins to shake | Devex

Life after aid work: When the ground begins to shake | Devex: "Those of us who entered the sector when it was still a genuine subculture had little formal training or exposure to the theory of development. We were educated on the job. We were in our positions because we had proven we wanted them bad enough — not because we were experts in development or humanitarian action. 

Having said that, as I attended meetings and got drawn into programs and situations of some complexity, it was often clear that things were amiss. That the “good” we were supposedly doing was not so unalloyed as people, including many of us young professionals, imagined.

 For me, the ground began to shake about six years into my career. I was appointed to a senior management position in Angola with a well-respected European NGO. Several things struck me immediately after I arrived for my two-year assignment. First, the massive humanitarian effort of hundreds of NGOs that catered to almost every conceivable need of the population. Thirty percent of Angola was being fed by the World Food Program. Luanda, the sleepy former colonial capital, vibrated night and day with the whup of choppers, the roar of cargo planes and the rumble of convoys heading up country."

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