human rights

Episode 36: Humanitarian diplomacy revealed

UN agencies such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights have immortalised the role of the humanitarian diplomat and the crucial role they play in safeguarding the interests of marginalised communities. But can diplomats for sustainable development be considered humanitarians as well? Or is there a fine line between humanitarian aid and sustainability? We uncover the definition of both and see if both actors have a similar approach in their way of saving the world.

As mentioned in the episode: Osterman, C. "How globalisation didn't start with the local". Social Value UK. 2019.

Episode 25: Is diplomacy for development in Venezuela still possible?

Image courtesy of Al Jazeera

Image courtesy of Al Jazeera

Venezuela has been in an economic crisis for years but the situation heightened when the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, was declared interim president by the assembly as a response to current President Nicolas Maduro's management of the country. Since then, the country has been the scene of a dire humanitarian crisis and the pawn of a geopolitical hand at play. Yet while the country's politics goes on, millions flee the country and basic human needs aren't being met. Can diplomacy in international development save Venezuela? Is there a role for NGOs and either state or non-state actors to engage to provide relief and aid for the Venezuelan people? On this episode, we invite Temir Porras Ponceleon (former Foreign Affairs Advisor to Hugo Chavez and former Chief of Staff to Nicolas Maduro), Daniel Lansburg-Rodriguez (Director of Latin America for Greenmantle LLC and Adjunct Lecturer at Northwestern Kellogg), and Ryan Lloyd (Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Sao Paulo) to discuss this crucial question - is diplomacy in international development still possible in Venezuela?

NB: This episode was recorded on Monday, 29 April. On 30 April, Juan Guaido declared to have military personnel switch loyalty to declare an end to Maduro. Maduro retains the majority of the Venezuelan army’s backing. However, the situation is still ongoing and still remains unclear. Much of the uncertain and potential for what could occur was forecasted in this podcast.

Episode 18: Haiti and NGOs - what's wrong and how to fix it

The 2010 Haitian Earthquake rocked Haiti to the core, killing thousands and inviting in a slew of NGOs along with their philanthropical dollars to the country. Yet the years that followed demonstrated abuse by NGO workers of the Haitian dynamics, disappearance of humanitarian funds and a lack of improvement to the plight of Haitians in a country which has yet to recover. So are NGOs to blame? We speak with the Founder of The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, Brian Concannon, and Anthropologist Dr Timothy Schwartz who is the author of The Great Haiti Humanitarian Aid Swindle to uncover what NGOs have been doing in Haiti, how it has hindered recovery and what they can do to change in order to lead to sustainable development.

Episode 14: Does democracy lead to sustainable development? Conversations with Tamara Dancheva

The OECD has recently included in a questionnaire for sustainable development the need for democratic institutions. But does democracy actually foster sustainable development? We speak with Liberal International's Head of Human Rights, Tamara Dancheva on the case for democracy in leading to greater social impact.

Episode 9: Paul O'Brien of Oxfam on the importance of NGOs working with political will

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On today's episode, we speak with Paul O'Brien, VP for Policy and Advocacy at Oxfam America to discuss the importance of NGOs understanding political will in order to push forward both advocacy campaigns and development programs. Often seen as two roads that don't cross, Paul O'Brien goes over why it is important for NGOs to have more political savy when engaging with governments for a more sustainable outcome.