EWB in Malawi – Water and Sanitation 2010
A weblog by Shehin Rahemtulla – University of Victoria Junior Fellow for Engineers without Borders

G8 and Canadian Aid

G8 and Canadian Aid

Working here in rural Malawi and witnessing the efforts of foreign NGOs makes me question the efficiency of Canadian aid.  For example, in Lilongwe district alone, there are a number of NGO’s working in the ‘water sector’.  From what I have seen, there is no regulation or collaboration between these NGO’s, causing competition between them, and effectively undermining the government and even rural Malawian workers.  Much foreign aid implemented here in Malawi is not assessed with a follow up to ensure sustainable solutions.  This is incredibly frustrating for rural people and the government.

As a Canadian I’m concerned about Canadian aid and I feel its upto voters like us to make sure that it is accountable.  Our government must create a standard for tracking and reporting aid commitments and we must invite other G8 countries to do the same.  I know that this isn’t a small thing to accomplish.  I know it is not easy to implement but if Canada were to just start by establishing some sort of development evaluation agency to assess results of Canadian aid, I feel it would go a long way.  I feel this information would be crucial for our parliament, the public, the government of the country where we provide aid and the local civil society in the country where we provide aid, like the rural Malawians I work with everyday.

This blog is part of a letter which will be sent to my local MP in Victoria.  It will be handwritten to increase authenticity and effectiveness.  I dare you guys to visit www.act.ewb.ca and write your own letters!  It only takes a few minutes and a really cheap postage stamp!

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