Social Research Digest – July 2012
The report examines long-term aims and impacts of development. It summarises results of four workshops across the UK, explores public attitudes towards aid and development.
- While there is broad public support for UK development efforts, there is also increasing sceptism.
- Government and non-profit organisations must find a new approach to campaigns and communications to retain public supprt.
- While the public broadly supports UK development efforts, a growing number of people support a reduction in aid spending.
- Others believe that “charity should begin at home” and that government refocus efforts to local communities.
- There is also a call to focus on the quality of results rather than the amount of money spent.
- People who represent the middle ground of public opinion do not fully understand the complex realities in developing countries.
- However, individuals want to better understand impacts and how and why development works.
- Development is viewed more favorably than aid since it focuses on long-term change and incorporates local participation.
- Most people felt that governments, NGOs, international institutions and companies all have a role to play in development.
- Recommendations for the UK development community to maintain public support include:
- communicate how change happens in developing countries in campaigns;
- understand the impact of communications and campaigns on the wider public;
- generate greater public involvement;
- link debates about ‘responsible capitalism’ to challenges faced by developing countries.
Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)