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    Decolonize Aid

    An honest look at the continuing power imbalance in development cooperation and a joint search for new strategies for cooperation at eye level. With partner institutions from four continents.

    Does international development cooperation cement colonial power structures? Does it ultimately help the donors more than the recipients? And who judges what 'development' means anyway?

    At Mission 21's international Online Summer School, participants discuss with experts and interested parties from four continents what strategies there are for more equal cooperation.

    Session 1

    Decolonize development aid?

    Longtime Pakistani development expert Themrise Khan objects to the use of the word decolonization in the context of development aid, arguing that it is not the decolonization of aid that is important, but the end of aid altogether.

    Thursday, August 25, 2022

    photo themrise khan

    Themrise N. Khan, Pakistan
    Independent development policy analyst with over 25 years of experience. ► More about the person

    Session 2

    Decolonizing Development Cooperation: A Critical Perspective from Latin America

    Reflections by indigenous peoples, black people, feminist movements, and critical academics in Latin America that assume non-hegemonic relations between peoples, countries, and contexts.
    Thursday, August 25, 2022

    csm photo maria ximena gonzalez ccdb0e4f99

    María Ximena González-Serrano, Colombia

    PhD student in the European RIVERS project, which studies the relationship between human rights and water. ► More about the person

    Session 3

    Decolonizing the Development Industrial Complex: The Use of Language and Lexicon.

    The dominance of English, French, or Spanish in development aid means that translation into indigenous languages is mandatory as part of the development process. How can we facilitate more inclusive communication that is less neocolonial, sexist and racist?
    Friday, August 26, 2022

    photo moses isooba

    Dr. Moses Isooba, Uganda

    Executive Director of the Uganda National NGO Forum (UNNGOF). ► More about the person

    Presentation material

    Presentation material

    ► "Decolonizing Aid" (PDF)

    Session 4

    Beyond Labels and Culture Wars: Thoughts on the Decolonization of Development Cooperation

    Decolonizing the images and language of international NGOs can not only improve international development work, but also bring to the fore the agency of those the sector seeks to support.

    photo muganzi isharaza

    Muganzi Muhanguzi Isharaza, England and Uganda

    Communications professional for international NGOs, researcher and PhD candidate in communications (Leeds).
    ► More about the person

    Presentation material


    Confusing, moving and contradictory

    Non-profit organizations can reinforce and perpetuate false images and perceptions of the Global South through simplified representations. Development cooperation must therefore not shirk its responsibility and must decolonize its language and imagery, says Muganzi Muhanguzi Isharaza from Uganda/Great Britain in the fourth part of the Summer School 2022.

    August 27, 2022

    "The important question is: is help necessary and useful?"

    Do we need to decolonize development aid? This year's Mission 21 Summer School revolves around this question, and the very first speaker shows that the answers are different. Themrise Khan, a Pakistani expert on development policy, finds the term "decolonization" inappropriate - even though her attitude toward development aid is critical.

    August 25, 2022

    Radio Life Channel, September 1, 2022

    screenshot 2022 09 06 144141

    The power imbalance in development cooperation

    "Mission 21" addressed this in a "Summer School".

    ► To the contribution

    SRF - Perspectives, September 25, 2021

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