30.7.08

International Development

I recently received a question from Tamara over at Bohemian Bahamian who asked: Are you going to stay in the field of International Development? What were some of your main problems?

Well Tamara, let me be a bit more specific. I was working in an area of direct donor aid which has many frustrations. There is often a gap between donor ideas and needs versus those of the communities they are supporting. Also I found a lot of dependency on such aid that made working with communities a little more challenging. There is easily a perception that because they don't have to really work to receive certain services, they don't have to really put a lot of care into maintaining because if it breaks there will be another donor to come in and repair it. Of course, I'm stating this very very generally and there are many communities and individuals who are extremely hard working and independent. But this was a big frustration of mine.

For now, I'm very open to the various opportunities that life can throw my way so whether it continues to be within the realm of International Development of something new, I'm open. International Development is a very broad field that encompasses a lot. There are organizations working to improve democracy in other countries, get street-kids off the streets, improve media outlets, help entrepreneurs start business, and or give potential migrants an opportunity to stay and contribute in their home countries. There is also so much potential to either work within the U.S. providing support for projects abroad or working directly in the field. No matter what work I do next I know I want to continue to have an international component and allow me to either travel abroad or live abroad again.

In addition, there are so many ways to live and work abroad in various fields that allow you to get to know new cultures and people. I've met so many people who take risks and move to random countries and start their own businesses or organizations and I think they are also connecting and adapting to new cultures and I find it both so amazing and inspiring. I find it all very exciting, knowing that there are so many places left to explore and people to meet.

1 comment:

Tamara said...

Hi!

Thank you so much for responding and giving more insight. I have heard/read many accounts from people in that field who feel similar frustrations and believe the key is to incorporate the people in the country more, so they are actually helping themselves and helping their country rather than just a handout situation. What do you think?

I am so interested in this field; probably focusing more on human rights and democracy or gender rights. I would ideally love a US based position with the opportunity to travel but we'll see. Do you think Sociology is a relevant graduate degree for this field?

I enjoy your blogs and your stories! Have a magical day!