Oregon becoming a hub for international development 2.0

You can meet other international development professionals at Green Empowerment’s monthly Development Drinks get together.

You can meet other international development professionals at Green Empowerment’s monthly Development Drinks get together.

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s leadership in promoting the Water for The World Act is a major opportunity for the growing hub of organizations and companies in Oregon that are moving the needle in improving international development effectiveness.

The international development industry refers to non-profits, government agencies, coalitions, and companies that seek to eradicate poverty in developing countries, and create pathways for long-term sustainable and equitable development. This specifically means access to potable water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, education, clean air, food and economic opportunities.

The traditional model of international development can be summed up as “aid” or “charity” and has been dragged through the mud so many times now — sometimes with good reason — that it carries negative connotations.

International Development 2.0 has been underway for the better part of the past decade and seems to have finally reached a tipping point. Several trends contribute to this including the ubiquity of information technology, innovation in remote instrumentation, cost reductions of clean technologies and the growth of social entrepreneurialism as a development philosophy.

Big-name donors such as Gates Foundation have also put their money where their mouth is and adopted a scientific approach to improvements in global health. Other innovators, including dot-com high rollers, corporate philanthropists and the major development institutions have placed increased scrutiny on aid projects, better aligned their shared goals, and require a more sophisticated implementing agency than ever before.

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