The Real Customers

Here’s a really great, really short video about how good intentions are not enough when it comes to assisting those in need. The gap between the kind intentions of the US and the actual needs in Africa is very large. A lot of times someone in the West comes up with a GREAT idea that everyone in the majority world needs (cynically, let me say also without consulting anyone in the majority world), gets lots of rich people really excited about it, mass produces it and ships it over…. then wonders why these needy people aren’t so excited by it.

(One of ) the problem(s) in this little transaction is the donor is dictating what and how and when to give—they are the “real” customer– and the person receiving the goods has no say. I am not convinced that the alternative suggested in the video (matching grants) is the perfect answer, but at least it seems to be going in the right direction. I also  like the comparison of a Martian giving marriage advice. What do you think?

ps: the Chalmers center also has some other interesting videos on similar topics.

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