What's Next For Foreign Aid?

5th Dec 2013; 13:00

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It is widely recognised that the foreign aid system is in need of drastic change. But, as we are seeing in the wake of the tragic events in the Philippines, there are conflicting opinions as to what is needed.

Some call for dramatic increases in resources, to meet new and long-overdue commitments, and to scale up what is already being done around the world. Others point to the flaws in aid, and bang the drum for cutting it altogether, or handing it over to the military or the private sector.

Away from this polarised debate, there are growing numbers suggesting that what is most needed is the creative, innovative transformation of how aid works. Leading international development consultant and researcher Ben Ramalingam is firmly in the third of these camps.

Ben argues that the linear, mechanistic models and assumptions of foreign aid are inadequate for dealing with the dynamic, complex world we live and work in today. Instead, he argues that a new approach embracing ideas from the cutting edge of science can help make foreign aid more appropriate, innovative, and catalytic.

Metadata: Leading international development consultant and researcher Ben Ramalingam and NESTA chief executive Geoff Mulgan discuss how insights from the cutting edge of science can help make foreign aid more appropriate, innovative, and catalytic. 

Speaker: Ben Ramalingam, researcher and writer.

Chair: Geoff Mulgan, chief executive of NESTA.

 

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