Intercultural opening of the development scene

Development policy is one of the most international fields of work. This is why it is often particularly surprising to find that most institutions and non-governmental organizations employ almost exclusively people from the dominant majority society: People from the Global South, Black people and People of Color seem to be more or less structurally excluded.

In recent years, several projects and initiatives have been found that have tried to advance the issue of so-called intercultural opening in the development policy scene, primarily in civil society. One of the projects was the “move glokal/move global” project in Hamburg, which ended prematurely. In the meantime, not only an evaluation of the EWNW project is online, but also a rebuttal by the terminated project manager Dr. Ali Fathi. In particular, the important question of what role institutional racism played in the project is discussed. The questions raised are central for all projects dealing with “intercultural opening”. In our monitoring of similar processes, we have noticed that the Hamburg model project is not an isolated case: After conflicts about institutional racism in development organizations, white employees usually remain in office, while PoC and black employees are sent out the door.

A helpful set of questions for primarily White organizations is presented by the Western States Center in Assessing Organizational Racism, a checklist within the Dismantling Racism workbook. Another Working to Create Antiracist spaces workshop guide was presented by Trent University. In 2012, the Berlin Brandenburg Migration Council also published a detailed plea against institutional racism, showing how racism permeates all social institutions. Such studies have yet to be conducted for the developmental sector.