Decolonizing Aid: Rethinking Humanitarianism Episode 7

January 11, 2021

Over the summer of 2020, Black Lives Matter sparked a global conversation about race and inequality. We saw passion, energy, the tearing down of statues, and protests in the street.

The police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and several other Black Americans forced many around the world to look introspectively and critically at systemic power imbalances. The aid sector was no exception, with growing calls for it to be decolonised. 

But movements often falter when it comes time for policy change. Now comes the hard part for both the humanitarian sector and for its critics. How does this dialogue begin to move from slogans to actual change?

Co-hosts Heba Aly and Jeremy Konyndyk sit down with Tammam Aloudat, a Syrian doctor who is senior strategic adviser to the Access Campaign of Médecins Sans Frontières and one of the few people of colour in a senior management position within an organisation going through a very public struggle with racism, to discuss dismantling colonialism in the aid sector.

Transcript available

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.