Imagining war, Selling charity

(This blog was oringially posted at – The Conversation)

by Oliver Walton

Sainsbury’s Christmas advert has stoked considerable controversy. It involves a cinematic re-telling of the “Christmas Truce”, where Allied and German soldiers ceased fighting on Christmas Day and played a friendly football match together on the stretch of No Man’s Land between their trenches. While the film’s power has been widely acknowledged, the propriety of the subject matter for advertising and fundraising has also been questioned. Continue reading

From bland aid to brand aid? Distinguishing development assistance and development finance

By James Copestake

(A fuller version of this argument is in the pipeline and will appear here in due course. Meanwhile, comments and suggestions are welcome – please post your responses here or tweet @cds_Bath using #brandaid)

The world of international development aid was never simple, but it seems to become ever more complex as agencies, financing mechanisms and acronyms proliferate. Public understanding struggles to keep up, with debate often pitched at a depressingly bland level. Is aid working? The correct answer, of course, is that aid comes in many different forms and brands. More interesting questions then abound, like which sorts of aid works best, when and why, and is the mix of different forms of aid right in different contexts? My proposition is that distinguishing between different forms of aid more clearly can contribute to raising the quality of public debate about its effectiveness. Continue reading