CWB: The Reductio ad Absurdum of Development Bloat

If you had to dream up an absurdist name for an organization embodying the worst of Development Bloat, you couldn’t really do worse than Clown Without Borders.

And yet it’s a real organization, with real volunteers and projects in 25 – count ’em, twentyfive – countries! Because nothing raises funds quite like starting at the top of Maslow’s pyramid and rappelling down…

4 thoughts on “CWB: The Reductio ad Absurdum of Development Bloat”

  1. There’s a tendency for development workers of all stripes to shit all over other sectors and organizations. The reason for this is that everyone understands what a wasteful racket the whole aid sector is and wants to position themselves as part of the “real, valuable, doing good work” part of the racket rather than the “wasteful, useless, possibly harmful” part of the racket. This is no different.

    I don’t know the first thing about CWB, but it seems presumptuous to call it “development bloat” without knowing anything about who funds them and what their budget is.

    And no, actually, I don’t think working “with relief organizations addressing psycho-social needs of those who suffer from traumatic situations” is an ipso facto ridiculous mission for an organization to have.

    1. I can agree with all of that – well, except for the last graf. There just isn’t any sort of base-line agreement between practitioners about what “development” is or what it means or what it’s for. Here on CfBD we’ve planted our flags. We’ve at least made our view clear, including when it comes to what Development is *not*. I think it’s a fight worth having, because avoiding it only deepens the muddle.

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