What Our MPs are saying about International Development

The UK Parliament's report on racism in the aid sector

Last Thursday, the UK parliament’s International Development Committee (IDC) published its much anticipated report on Racism in the aid sector. SWIDN were proud to contribute to The Philosophy and Culture of Aid inquiry with our written and oral evidence reflecting the views of some in our community who took the time to complete our survey or talk to us in advance. We would like to thank the friends of SWIDN for sharing your ideas and thoughts. It isn’t easy to talk about racism. 

We welcome this report as an essential first step in moving towards an understanding of racial injustice in our sector today. The report highlights how racism is rooted across practices, systems and approaches within international development. The IDC note how racism manifests in the terminology we use, the values we hold, the practices we implement, and in the images we portray of ‘the poor’. The report shows how racism is played out in our sector in how power is used, shared or controlled.

In the report, SWIDN highlighted the need for good change, including: 

  • the need for innovative and inclusive funding models that shift the power 
  • greater accountability to black and brown people for UK Aid, including cuts
  • practical, inclusive measures and support towards becoming anti-racist for small and large INGOs, and those based outside of London 

We are encouraged and celebrate the publication of this important report as an act of anti-racism in our sector. We want to support our community to engage in the journey of becoming anti- racist. Our Good Development Working Group is a designated space for some of the reflection this requires, and a place where our members can share, question and learn together. Our next Working Group will take place on Tuesday 20th September 1-2pm and we will be discussing this report, structured around some of its key findings. This event is free for all our members and you can sign up here

Sign up to our Fundraising Beyond the UK course in July 2022 to hear more about inclusive funding models that shift the power!