Someone recently turned me on to The Guardian’s Poverty Matters blog, and if you’re not reading it, you should be. To wit: A recent post about Bill and Melinda Gates and the optimistic side of development. Seems Melinda Gates has grown weary of the shocking, shame-the-public approach to development reporting. Instead, she wants to see more positive coverage—what is working, which Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) are being met:
“[Melinda Gates] cites MDG4 – the reduction of child deaths. ‘A whole host of countries you might not expect are doing very well against that goal,’ she says. Malawi, Bangladesh and Ethiopia are all making exciting progress on some of the MDGs.”
According to the Poverty Matters post, the Gateses are launching their own international tour to promote this approach:
“In October they will be in London. Next year they will go to Germany and France and possibly Spain. They are going to spread the word through an event they call Living Proof, which will tell of the success stories in aid and development. There are two ways of trying to stir the well-to-do into action on behalf of the poor—one is to shock them into reaching for their wallets and the other is to show them how aid can make a difference. Mr and Mrs Gates are headed determinedly down the second road.”
Heifer International, a recipient of a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has long used this approach to educate its donors and spread a hopeful message about ending hunger and poverty. Read a few of Heifer’s success stories online, or check out World Ark, the magazine of Heifer International.