Ten concrete ways INGOs can decolonize their aid work

A new report offers a blueprint for global aid organizations to “radically transform power relations towards greater equity” in their operations.

Why It Matters

The colonial legacy of global aid is difficult to uproot from the sector’s current practices, operations, and hiring. Without serious reflection by Global North operations, these colonial practices will only continue to manifest themselves during humanitarian crises.

International aid is still a highly colonial sector. 

According to a new report edited by Peace Direct — in partnership with Adeso, Alliance for Peacebuilding, and Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security, and Conflict Transformation — unequal power dynamics remain strong in the international aid system. Despite calls to address inequities within the sector, funding for many local organizations is largely held by a small number of donors and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs). 

“Decolonising development, humanitarian aid and peacebuilding — the movement to address and dismantle racist and discriminatory structures and norms that are hidden in plain sight in the aid system — is emerging as an urgent, vital, and long overdue discussion which adds greater weight to the existing calls to transform the system,” the report’s authors write in

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