Global Development - So Much More Needed

Comments (20)

Global Development - So Much More Needed

By: Mel Dunn

The tragic events resulting from the recent Tsunami on Boxing Day 2004 serve to again highlight the fragile nature of many of the world's communities. In each of these locations the key tasks of treating the sick and injured, ensuring clean water was available, or made available, providing food, accommodation and so on was critically important as a first step on the way to rebuilding these communities.

What further serves to highlight the magnitude of challenges facing the world as a whole, is the fact that many other activities along the development continuum continue to be in operation, or needed. In many cases these are needed in the same countries affected by this tragedy.

Adam Gilchrist of the Australian cricket team, during the telecast of the Tsunami relief match, commented with interest that within a very short period following the disaster, hundreds of millions of dollars became available to support the needs of the affected communities. Yet he commented further that 15,000 people each day die unnecessarily in Africa from disease. His point was not to devalue the Tsunami relief contribution, but rather to highlight the need for ongoing commitment from those who are more fortunate in assisting those most in need.

So much more is needed.

As was seen in the early stages of the relief effort, the citizens of the world are incredibly generous and compassionate and recognise that we all can do something - the sum of all parts can make a difference.

While each of us has different personal circumstances, which define the type of support or involvement we can offer, there are plenty of options. These options can be as simple as a donation or sponsoring involvement, to volunteering internationally or domestically, or making long-term career decisions to be involved in development.

The Australian Government has shown a great lead through activities such as the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development Program (AYAD) ( The program places young Australians on short- to medium-term assignments through which they have the opportunity to employ their skills, as well as develop a greater understanding of the development needs of our neighbours.

Similarly, organisations such as Australian Volunteers International ( support the recruitment, placement, preparation and management of volunteers for the purpose of working towards the sustainable development of communities. (It should be noted here that the Australian government, through AusAID, is a major fund source for these programs).

Of course, volunteering for either short- or long-term assignments is not possible for everyone, which is fine. The astounding statistics relating to the level of donation for the Tsunami relief effort suggests that clearly there are many of us who have done other things, in whatever way we could, to offer support. Similarly, many of us sponsor children through organisations such as Plan ( and World Vision (

All of this helps.

What about the link between the commercial aspects of the development industry and the benefits it is meant to deliver?

So often in conversations I hear statements such as "consultants are getting paid too much", "firms are making too much profit" and so on.

Are these statements fair?

First of all I would think it a unique situation in any industry if there were not a difference in earnings between certain individuals and different organisations. So at some point in all industries, "they are making too much" is going to be heard. Just because it is said does not mean it is valid.

Secondly, there are a lot of high quality organisations (and Australia has many) that continue to provide quality solutions to contribute to sustainable development. While we would all certainly hope that the need for development activities would disappear, this is not likely in the near future. So for organisations to continue to provide quality inputs, they also need to be sustainable.

Clearly, what is important is not that an organisation makes a margin on activities to ensure their own sustainability. What is important is value of the involvement, and that value relates to outcomes and impact, not input.

Granted, an interesting debate question could be "at what point does margin go beyond organisational sustainability such that a reduction in margin could still ensure sustainability for the implementing organisation while putting more into the activity/project/community"? But let's not forget that many of these organisations, and many individuals I have been fortunate enough to get to know, contribute far beyond the technical involvement they are contracted to provide.

In a commercial environment, how can more be done?

Certainly in my experience of working with individuals and organisations, the commitment to do more is alive and well. The critical aspect that must be the focus of implementing activities, is how to create maximum value, improved outcomes and long-term, positive impact from involvement.

Some approaches that have the potential to create improved outcomes that are worth considering include:

  • Encouraging ongoing professional development within your organisation [or as an individual]. There are a number of quality programs at some Australian universities specifically targeting development. This professional learning can be equally valuable for field practitioners as well as for business development personnel.
  • Encouraging greater involvement from the education community. Australia is blessed with an incredible pool of talent, and this is especially true in the higher education and vocational education and training sectors. However, the nature of many project activities, both in terms of timing and location, at times keep some ideal candidates from participating - this is a shame for all concerned.
  • Providing opportunities for teams in the field to keep up to date with new and relevant information. While as professionals we each should accept the responsibility to maintain currency, providing new (including case-study) information to field teams is important. A number of Australia's quality managing contractors publish excellent newsletters.
  • Incorporating new blood into project teams. This is often challenging, as the assessment criteria presented in many tendering activities almost appear to preclude newer professionals from being nominated. Presenting balanced teams remains important, both for the benefit of the activity itself, and for building a broader base of qualified and experienced personnel for future activities.
  • Looking for quality local solutions. While a project opportunity may be let by an international organisation, incorporating local individuals, institutions and/or organisations into project teams has the potential to create superior solutions. This approach offers the advantage of providing some economic value, as well as creating a strong platform for sustainability. And let's not forget that many local organisations are quality project managers in their own right, so being a junior partner to them remains a very worthwhile consideration.

Needless to say, there is still much to be done; however, none of us can control the occurrence of such tragedies as the recent Tsunami. We can, however, continue our individual and collective commitment to contribute and participate at whatever level we are able. And we can ensure our approach to development activities seeks to demonstrate value and focus on outcomes and impact along the path to sustainable community development.

About The Author

Mel Dunn is Managing Director of Global Business and Development Solutions, which works with individuals and organisations that are committed to business success and the success of others. We work globally and locally and focus on providing sustainable solutions for our clients.

We offer a range of services including:

  • Proposal and tender development
  • Technical assistance
  • Research and strategy development
  • Quality review of submissions
  • Market entry support
  • Partner identification
  • On-ground representation

Visit the website for more information about how we could assist you at You will also find a 'contact us' form there or you can contact us immediately using We make every effort to respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.

All readers are free to use any part of this article on the condition that the following attribution is included in full, including a live link to the Global Business and Development Solutions website. Please email to advise where this information will appear.

"By Mel Dunn, Managing Director of Global Business and Development Solutions. Please visit for additional information about GBDS and how their services could benefit you."


Irish Kid 10.11.2011. 12:12

Suggestions for a story of global development please? Sup. I have to do a joint-project throughout different subject areas for college. The main topic is "a story of global development".
It needs to like tell the story of a person or people.
I was thinking about using Music. Like Hip-Hop but dont know if it has much content. ANy suggestions? Thanks

Irish Kid

Admin 10.11.2011. 12:12

It developed as a genre of music in the 1970s as an alternative to western pop music. Its roots are from rap music. It migrated to the west coast of the US, and even as far as Japan, West Indies and Australia. It reached its peak in the 1990s. Wikipedia has good reading material on hip hop.


K-9 29.11.2012. 22:39

How realistic is it to learn 2 hard languages at once? Here's the deal. I'm interested in global development, in particular, the Middle East and East Asia. Anyway, I want to learn Mandarin Chinese and Arabic at the same time. Is this possible? How much work would it take per day? I also have regular school so it might not fit into my schedule. But I'm mainly thinking in terms of linguistics would it be extremely difficult?


Admin 29.11.2012. 22:39

Frankly, I do not think it is a good idea to learn multiple languages simultaneously. I think you?d better focus on one language and learn it deeply. To learn Chinese may be a good choice, as too many people speak Chinese and are interested in Chinese culture and custom. If you learn Chinese, perhaps you have chances to talk with people around you. If you could not speak Chinese at all before, you?d better learn Chinese from a native Chinese teacher. Once you learn the basic rules of tone, character, etc, you can learn Chinese by yourself. There are many free Chinese lessons and tests online and you can use the resources to make your learning more effective and fast. Besides, online Chinese teacher will arrange your lessons based on your level, needs and time, so you needn?t worry about there will be a conflict between your school and learning Chinese. Why do you want to learn a foreign language? I?m really curious. Could you tell me? My E-mail is and I hope to chat with you.


Los Castillos 23.07.2010. 06:04

Can an American work at the Amnesty International London building or others? I am getting my Masters degree in Global Development Studies and am curious about job prospects for an American at the Amnesty International London offices. I really just want to travel and work in a different country for a few years. Can anyone just apply for a job at an office that they are not a citizen of? Thanks

Los Castillos

Admin 23.07.2010. 06:04

I volunteer in the Mid West office. Work in America, we need more people involved in AI here than countries that respect human rights.


Wise Kai 05.01.2007. 14:25

What Is the Fairest Way to Structure a World Parliament? We have the UN, the UNDP, the WHO, the WTO, the IMF & World Bank, Interpol, some global Environment & Development Agencies, and a need for more, and most people agree that the UN veto power and the P5-G8-OECD dominance of all organisations is not fair on the others.
So what exactly is the perfect way to structure a world govt or world parliament? One vote per country? This gives the Caribbean Islands more say than all of Asia which is nonsense. One seat for each of the top 15/20/25/100 population nations? Global elections with PR and all non-top-10 parties fall into division-2? Give countries with the biggest GDP more say because they pay more in as under the present system, or go by population figures so the 3rd world has more say? What way would be best? Have your say.

Wise Kai

Admin 05.01.2007. 14:25

It is unlikely that a world government will ever evolve. What is more likely is a global trade union much like that in Europe now. There simply are too many political ideologies in the world to meld into one form of government. Capitalism, however, can thrive in any environment.


Starrah 15.04.2010. 15:45

what is the global intervention and human development model proposed by the G8? The Question that was asked is "What is the role of the G8? How were the countries selected? Does the global intervention and human development model really work?"
I need to know what the global intervention and human development model is...I can't find it anywhere and I've been searching for an hour.


Admin 15.04.2010. 15:45

You must refine your search terms. Remember that liberals are masters of deception.

It refers to globalists making plans to control every facet of our lives from outside our nation's borders and without our consent.

Try this one.

Here is the thesis.

"This study conducts such an analysis. It argues that the G8 has been a striking, full strength success in
twenty-first century global education governance, due to the rising vulnerability and declining relative
capability of an America now forced to look to its increasingly capable G8 colleagues for help. As a
global education governor, the G8 first took a regular interest in education-related subjects in the mid-
1980?s, and has deliberated continuously, comprehensively and robustly on core education issues since
1999. At Okinawa 2000, it soared into sustained high performance across all of its domestic political
management, direction-setting, decision-making, delivery and development of global governance tasks."

There is a reason why conservatives are so wary of the globalists.

They DO want to crash our country and take us over.


Risa 28.01.2013. 21:08

What are some movies that could be related to one of the 8 Millenium Development Goals? In my English class we need to pick one of the 8 development Millenium goals and find a film that can relate to it:
The Eight Millennium Development Goals are:

to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger;
to achieve universal primary education;
to promote gender equality and empower women;
to reduce child mortality;
to improve maternal health;
to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases;
to ensure environmental sustainability; and
to develop a global partnership for development.
I could have picked Medicine Man, but someone already took it. I would appreciate some thought and different movies that could relate to one of these topics.


Admin 28.01.2013. 21:08

The Constant Gardener. It's more about exploitation of poor people in Africa by rich corporations though.

A League of Their Own. It's a famous movie about women playing baseball.


Mert E 23.10.2007. 09:56

What would be the best to address global warming to society by the use of technology and creative thinking? I am doing a project with National Association of Independent Schools to present ways to help societies to notice the effects of global warming; any links with the suggestions (like facts, documents and examples to portray message) offered would be a great help. Thxs a lot.

Mert E

Admin 23.10.2007. 09:56

?Our environmental problems originate in the hubris of imagining ourselves as the central nervous system or the brain of nature. We're not the brain; we are a cancer on nature.?-- Dave Foreman

The given account bears simulacrum to the fact that Global Warming is the Gateway to the Ultimate Cataclysm. The prevailing life on earth is on the verge of its extinction. The effects are quite evident from the unpredictable weather changes and climatic behavior prevalent in the present time. Global Warming is the consequence of Human Intervention in the basic flow of Natural System. Mankind has adopted technology at the cost of Natural Resources, the depletion of which has raised this burning issue too hot to be taken up through the use of same technology. Melting of Icebergs, Ozone Layer Depletion, Changes in the Season cycle can only suggest the degree of Human Activity responsible in diverting the Elements of Nature towards complete annihilation. Industrialization through deforestation has disrupted the CO2 balance in the environment, one of the major green house gases. Refrigeration Industry has served better to increase the CFC?s in proportions, leading to hyperactivity of Sun?s UV rays on Earth?s Natural Cooling System.
The conclusion is Simple, and demands Rationalism. One can?t expect Humans to roll back to pre historic era. It?s the duty of mankind to take steps in the direction of restoration of basic natural policies of the Environment; else the consequences will be fatal. After all it?s the Humans who have designed and engaged their own technology to make their environment a better place to live (die ?).

The basic need of the hour is to reach a common consensus on this major issue. Passing protocols and holding conferences won?t help unless there is any application of whatever is suggested in the meet. The planet Earth requires active participation from all the countries, to view this issue as a Major threat to the very existence of the Human Society. It is Required that the UN makes an Intervention and passes a general regulatory protocol to be followed by every country to keep a hold over the proportions of atmospheric gasses necessary for the Natural Cooling System. Laws should be devised so as to make the major polluting nations & the industries accountable. Economic Sanctions should be introduced against those who violate those laws.

India being an agro based country, where economy is mainly controlled by the timely arrival and departure of Monsoon Season, shouldn?t be laying her heads down in dealing with this issue. The country shouldn?t forget that it?s the third largest producer of the Greenhouse gasses, hence plays a big hand in disturbing the environmental gas pool ratio. India and every other developing nation should now take one step back and move in the path of sustainable development.

The Simple solutions are Forestation, Reforestation, population control, pollution control and using alternative biological resources for fuel production. A general Awareness program is indispensable to eradicate the Curse of Global Warming.


Love of Truth 01.05.2008. 14:36

Is raising awareness the key to overcoming anthropogenic global warming? According to one interviewee of environmental documentary "The 11th Hour" this is exactly what is needed. The problems (wo)mankind faces due to his/her own faults are at the root spiritual issues. That once this issues are addressed all else will naturally fall into place.

Love of Truth

Admin 01.05.2008. 14:36

Not just awareness but also a change of heart, a willingness to do with less, have fewer children, consider the impact of growth and development.

Unfortunately our value system is based upon exploiting nature for personal, family and community gain. We need to develop values which will lead to happiness that are not rooted in consumption and development. This is a very difficult problem.


jenkster 09.02.2007. 12:23

What are the key factors likely to affect the development of commercial airline industry over the next 20 year I need your help guys. Bullet points would be great


Admin 09.02.2007. 12:23

It's not going to be the 'gloom and doom' scenario you see around here.

Security will eventually become more even; some countries are better at it than others; I think eventually some international organization (ICAO, etc.) will issue standards that most nations will adopt.

The airlines will continue to have to lower their prices as low as possible, as the average traveler will do anything to save a buck/euro/yen, etc., and so 'cattle-car' travelling conditions will predominate.

The narrowbody airliners (737, 757, A320, etc.) will gradually fade away as the regional jets move into their market segment.

The A380 will be an enormous boondoggle for Airbus, but with lots of government support they'll survive.

Embraer will gradually move upwards into larger airplanes, and begin to challenge Boeing and Airbus in the low end of their markets.

The very light jets just now coming into the marketplace will revolutionize the air charter and air taxi industry, and will make private jet ownership affordable for the merely wealthy, and not just the super-rich (through fractional ownership). Eventually the middle and lower classes will be relegated to the commercial airlines, with the rich breezing through security to their private flights.

Long term--Boeing's strategy of outsourcing major sub-assemblies will come back to haunt them, as their 'partners' end up building whole airplanes themselves.

Global warming issues will not have as much impact as what people believe--not that they're not going to occur. The issue is that there is so much money tied up in flying airliners that the companies that fly the passengers, the companies that make the airplanes, and the companies that sell the fuel to the airlines can all afford to buy off politicians worldwide, and thereby get exemptions from regulations they don't want to comply with. Welcome to the real world.


Mel 10.01.2008. 22:48

How many earths do you need to sustain you? I was at a sustainability conference last week. One of the presenters said that we need 4 earths for our current lifestyles to continue in a sustainable fashion.

(Sustainability - Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.)

In other words, our current lifestyles are not sustainable, and our kids are going to pay the price.

Forget everything about global warming, pollution, SUV's, politicians, and carbon footprints. Does the very fact that we are not leaving this world in any condition to support our children and grandchildren mean anything to you? If so, what? If not, why not?

Just curious :-)

P.S. Sorry I can't give a reference for the scientist's quote - she didn't say where that data was published.
Going crazy - What purpose do you have for living if not to pass on your genes to your offspring? To ensure the future of the human race? I can't believe people who don't care about future generations - maybe when you have kids you'll feel differently.
Heather - That's a very selfish sentiment.


Admin 10.01.2008. 22:48

these future kids are a real pain, they are not even here yet and you people are trying to save them


Write a comment

* = required field





* Yes No