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We live in such a globalised world that much of what happens on the international stage or in foreign nations affects peoples in even some of the remotest of places. So although as it is of vital importance that development initiatives occur from the bottom up – in other words, they are driven by the needs and wishes of local people in the first instance – if the larger picture is ignored much of what can be done at the local level will be undermined.
The obvious example is Climate Change where only action at the global level has any hope of arresting the runaway global warming that is predicted to cause widespread chaos and hardship, predominantly amongst developing nations.
Another example are the free-market global trade regulations that favour developed countries over developing ones, leading to situations where local markets are often flooded with heavily subsidised imports completely undermining the ability of small-scale farmers to make a profit. A further example are the lax international tax laws that allow multi-national companies to avoid paying proper tax in the countries from which they take natural resources, effectively robbing local people. Corruption at the local level is also an issue with wider implications, as until there is more transparency and morality built into international relations and the corporate world’s dealings with developing countries, corruption will continue to thrive as a result of the plethora of shady deals that can take place.
Debates and policy decisions that occur in the international arena directly affect local communities in the developing world. It is widely recognised that much of the poverty that is found worldwide today is avoidable through the imposition of various good governance mechanisms and a fairer economic playing field, one which favours local people rather than discriminates against them.
Deforestation, land grabbing, corruption, corporate accountability, a moral-based approach to trade regulation, aid and debt relief: these are just some of the many areas upon which international policy can have a massive effect, positive or negative, on local people’s lives.
Charities such as Rainbow Development in Africa that have direct grassroots experience in developing countries are uniquely placed to speak up for impoverished peoples on the global stage. Indeed, perhaps they have a moral duty to do so.
Rainbow Development in Africa, being small, does not run advocacy campaigns, but actively participates in campaigns run by larger organisations that are relevant to the work it does.
Some Campaigns and campaigning groups