If you only read one thing this week…

Development agencies could benefit from more critical media coverage by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
July 9, 2007, 10:16 am
Filed under: accountability, Articles, If you only have 15 mins

Ruth Allen is recommending this editorial by Edward Girardet for the Christian Science Monitor, 06/08/2007 entitled “Aid projects need more critical media coverage”. In Edward Girardet’s recent editorial, the veteran journalist who specializes in aid, conflict and the media, suggests a “media watchdog” to address what he sees as a critical accountability gap in the development community. Citing examples from Paul Wolfowitz’s forced resignation from the World Bank to Zimbabwe’s leadership of UN bodies despite the country’s human rights record, Girardet states “international aid is in desperate need of more critical reporting. This is crucial if committed aid professionals are to do their jobs properly.”
Though the editorial focuses on the UN system, it raises important points for the larger development community. Could aggressive, independent reporting help NGOs better meet our development goals?
Such focus also has the potential to help us communicate more effectively, uncover major gaps, emerging opportunities or creative solutions and motivate us to tackle long standing challenges in our field.
Girardet suggests the way forward is a new, specialized media entity, truly independent from the interests of donors, governments and individual organizations. The idea is gaining ground and we can expect to hear more about narrowing the accountability gap as recommendations for UN reform are considered.