Q&A: Retirement, Bribes, Unconventional aid ...

Submitted by Aid Workers Network on June 9, 2004 - 6:49pm.

Topics included:

  • Retirement
  • Refusing bribes
  • Unconventional aid for civilians trapped in conflict
  • Child trafficking and child slavery
  • Donor visits to projects
  • Mainstreaming disability

Can you offer any insights or pointers to useful information/contacts on these topics? Thank you.

Responses to the previous questions are summarised below.

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New Questions


Stu Meades is thinking ahead, toward retirement. He asks for advice on long-term planning for pensions and retirement. What are you doing for financial planning? http://forum.aidworkers.net/messages/116/17464.html


Kristina Hefter asks for tips on refusing bribes. How do you decline accepting a bribe when it's offered in a country where bribes are common? How do you refuse a bribe without causing the other person to lose face yet without making you and your organization seem ungrateful?



Casey Alan Barrs is looking for information about getting aid to civilians trapped in conflict when they are in hiding or on the run and when the aid is delivered without the permission of an armed, abusive controlling power.



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Tahir works with Angkor Development Forum and is planning a workshop in Cambodia on gender development and prevention of trafficking of women and children. Sarah offers a recent study from Mali that concludes that the prevalence of the phenomenon is grossly exaggerated. Bernier of the Haitian League recently published "Who's Raping the Children," a book on child exploitation.



Liz tells us that "normal" is relative: the number of donor visits differs among organizations and donors. Some projects might require frequent visits from technical advisors sent by the donor. Wirsiy says a well-designed small project might require no donor visits. Projects with potential to expand might receive frequent visits. Donors should visit within a few months of project-phase reports so as to be more knowledgeable when discussing the project. Martin thinks it's reasonable for a donor to visit a project at its beginning, middle, and end. Those visits may lead to additional visits, but their cost should not exceed 12% of project cost. Morshed notes that donors might visit to ensure controls in the implementing NGO exist to safeguard the donor fund. J. Caluyo welcomes donor visits. They increase understanding for donors and implementing NGOs. However, the community members' humanity and dignity should be respected. Don, in contrast, believes donors should never visit. Why, unless to admire their handiwork? Although he grants that circumstances can warrant visits. Donor support should be encouraged through documented reports rather than through visits. S. Ram remarks that it's common for donors in India to visit at least once after a project has been implemented; usually at inauguration to generate publicity. Isabelle has found that Southern national NGOs can expect annual visits from Northern donors.



S. Ram has noticed that disability is gaining visibility with many NGOs. Media can play a big role in issues related to disabilities. Wendy tells us that the articles in the May issue of The Health Exchange Magazine, "Disability: Going mobile with an integrated approach," present diverse approaches to disability and show that disability must be included when addressing poverty. Kate found that master's degree programs in international development studies neglect disability, considering it only within the context of medical or health programs and ignoring education, employment, etc. needs. Study results are in her master's thesis, which she offers to share. Gabriel mainstreamed disability issues for organizations. Some methods are simple (he lists many), but the biggest barrier, aside from physical ones, is attitude--people feel they are unwelcome. Sarah tells us that a Mercy Corps and Mobility International partnership links Mercy Corps with disability organizations and provides tools and guidelines for accommodation in community infrastructure projects. Mobility International, Oxfam, and Mercy Corps all have recent publications on disability. Linda worked with programs for mentally and physically challenged children in the U.S. and Brazil. One was a gardening program; children grew food and prepared it to eat. Sachin knows that Handicap International is mainstreaming disability into HIV/AIDS work in Kenya.


Aid Workers Exchange 09-JUN-04 ISSN 1478-5137

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