The Broker is currently hosting an international debate on the thorny questions that surround the politics of aid and poverty alleviation. The contributors agree that pro-poor policies affect the interests of many groups, not only the poor, and are essentially political. By failing to address the root causes of poverty, the technocratic approaches of many donors are unlikely to succeed.
Can peace and justice be achieved at the same time? This old dilemma has acquired a new dimension with the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Is the ICC a spur or an obstacle to peace and reconciliation? In northern Uganda, an answer to this question is beginning to emerge.
‘Humanitarian aid has moved to the heart of the political debate’, according to Thea Hilhorst, professor of humanitarian aid and reconstruction at Wageningen University. ‘Discussions on humanitarian aid are always centred on the latest crisis. I want to address more fundamental issues’. In doing so, she is asking some difficult questions.
I am the proud father of three little boys, and have the privilege to learn a bit about human nature as I watch them grow up. Currently the oldest two, aged 4 and 6, seem to have only one thing on their minds – Pokémon. For non-insiders, I am referring to artistically decorated paper cards featuring fantasy creatures with make-believe powers of destruction. Our kids go nowhere without their collection of precious cards, and neither do their friends. It is common to see groups of children sitting together, exchanging cards and commenting on each others’ latest conquests. For them, Pokémon is real, and they are unaware of the fact that they are in the middle of an enormous hype.