Podcast episodes

Episode #34: Dignity in development – Tom Wein

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How can international development interventions be implemented in a respectful way that enhances its beneficiaries’ dignity? How can social services be provided so that dignity, rather than bureaucratic processes, are put front and centre? And how can organisations promote a culture of dignity.

I discuss these and other questions with Tom Wein. Tom is a Director of IDinsight and has long been working on the issue of dignity in international development. Based in Nairobi, he works as a researchers and consultant and set up the Dignity Project.

Enhancing dignity might seem integral to processes of international development, with poverty reduction being one its primary goals. In addition to the inherent value of enhancing dignity, it also has a wide range of other positive effects, from economic to social ones.

Yet, as Tom highlights, dignity often tends to be an afterthought. Externally imposed rules on who should receive support or how to use it, such as with respect to cash transfers, are commonplace but undermine recipients’ sense of agency and respect.

That said, change is on the horizon. Tom speaks about increased traction among partners within the international development space to create cultures of dignity. More and more organisations realise its importance, and the potential for approaching social service delivery with dignity at its core.

Tom mentions various pieces of research in the episode. These can found on this page on the IDinsight website.

Photo credit: Raphael Brasileiro at Pexels.com

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