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Committee investigates racism in the foreign aid sector

20 May 2021

The House of Commons International Development Committee is to investigate racism in the foreign aid sector. The Committee has invited several experts on the subject to give testimony.

Tuesday 25 May 2021 (Virtual meeting)

  • Session will be conducted with remote participation by witnesses and Committee members

At 2.30pm

  • Degan Ali, Executive Director, Adeso
  • Dr. Lata Narayanaswamy, Associate Professor, Politics of Global Development, University of Leeds

At 3.15pm

  • Natalie Lartey, Advocacy and Engagement Manager, Communications, International Institute for Environment and Development
  • Lorriann Robinson, Founder and Director, The Advocacy Team

Purpose of the Session

The evidence session on racism comes under the umbrella of the Committee’s wider inquiry into the philosophy and culture of aid. The Committee held its first evidence session in this inquiry last month. Members heard that it is problematic for the aid sector that its senior managers and decision makers do not often reflect the demographic of those they work with. Furthermore, during the Committee’s recent inquiry on sexual exploitation in the sector, members found that power dynamics relating to racism and sexism may have impeded efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse.

At the evidence session on May 25th members may ask about where power lies in aid sector decision making and explore issues such as the role colonialism has played in shaping the sector. There could also be questions about other topics, including: differing conditions of employment for internationally hired and locally recruited staff; how stereotypes are sometimes perpetuated in the language and images used by aid agencies; and issues around diversity, including how the UK government might address these.

Further information

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