Tag Archives: Intercultural opening

About apologies…

The development policy scene in Germany has increasingly been dealing with racism in the last ten years. In these processes, collaboration between white organizations and People of Color and immigrant-diasporic organizations often plays an important role. In this, often only selective cooperation, there have been major and minor reproductions of racism again and again in recent years. Most incidents and conflicts do not reach the public and unfortunately often fade away unresolved in the everyday life of the (mostly white-owned) organizations.

One case that made bigger waves was the termination of the project “move global/glocal” by the One World Network (EWNW) in Hamburg in 2010/2011 with the winding up of the team (2010) and the subsequent termination of the project manager (2011). The AG Sporen Lobal (Note June 2016: The blog of the AG Sporen Lobal is now offline. The documentation continues on the site of MEPa North) created the greatest possible transparency about the further handling of the conflict within the EWNW via her blog, showed that the case had not been forgotten and exerted pressure on the association not to let more grass grow over the matter. See also our article from 2013.

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Institutional discrimination

Recently, the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency published its new report on discrimination in education and employment. The report not only details how discriminatory and exclusionary the German education and employment landscape is, it also makes extensive recommendations for change.

A look at development policy institutions and organizations in Germany confirms that here, too, and especially here, these recommendations should urgently be taken note of. The newly founded umbrella organization Migration-Development-Participation e.V. (MEPa) emphasizes in a statement that they “miss an adequate integration of migrant experts in many federal states” and that they “do not see equal opportunities for migrants in the NGO structures at present”. AG Sporen lobal from Hamburg is even more specific. In an article entitled “One year of accusations of racism against Eine Welt Netzwerk Hamburg e.V.”, she looks back at how the accusation of structural racism against the state network was dealt with:
“A wall of silence surrounds the moveGLOBAL affair, like most discrimination cases in this country. The personalities in the former moveGLOBAL project advisory board cover EWNW’s back and sweep the affair under the carpet. The Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Landesnetzwerke in der Eine-Welt-Arbeit – agl – does not question its Hamburg member EWNW. The partly newly elected board of the EWNW is silent – as is the old one. The donor BMZ seems to have forgotten the issue. Business as usual – One year of accusations of racism against Eine Welt Netzwerk Hamburg e. V.”

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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. Continue reading