For a long time now, many analysts (including some of us) have criticized development aid policies for their shortsightedness, for being often just smokescreens, for their condescending approach and, more than anything else, for not actually addressing the root causes of poverty (while focusing only on some, sensational symptoms). Development aid has generally been more to the advantage of donor countries than to that of the recipients. The shift from a patron-client language to that of “partners” (which is a key component of current aid lingo) has only been a marketing strategy to hide the basic fact that donors are still in the driver’s seat.
What if this reality was to be inverted? With a good degree of irony and excellent communication strategies, a Norwegian group called RADI-AID has promoted a philanthropic campaign asking Africans to help Norwegian families endure their harsh winter by donating second-hand radiators. Watch the video, which includes a re-make of We Are the World….but to help freezing kids in Norway. Just awesome!