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LBL Bringing Everyone Together!

February 29, 2012

I recently attended the Live Below The Line launch event at the House of Lords. What really resonated with me was how so many different charities and NGOs were coming together to support this amazing campaign. Not only to support the campaign, but to work together and collaborate their efforts.

I have so much admiration and respect for charites and NGOs for the amazing work that they do, and the lives they change for the better.

Despite their amazing work, NGOs often receive a lot of criticism for their lack of coordination and collaboration. Critics argue that humanitarian aid could be more effective if there was more coordination. Arguing this would lead to less duplicatins, less wasted resources and money, and more lives saved. While I would be inclined to agree on the value of coordination, it is important to remember that aid efforts rarely happen in a vacuum, and there is rarely just one organization responsible for all aid, relief and development efforts in even one community. However, there have been major efforts in improving the effectiveness of aid with The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) now responsible for the coordination of the UN’s response to humanitarian emergencies. With OCHA and ReliefWeb (www.reliefweb.int) information is gathered and disseminated from all kinds of aid agencies, providing a valuable collection of reasonably up-to-date information on any major humanitarian aid and crisis.

With this in mind, I think it is so encouraging to see everyone coming together for Live Below The Line. I may be taking part in Live Below The Line as part of RESULTS UK, but it’s less about the specific organization and more about the campaign. It’s about raising awareness for global poverty as a whole. UNICEF, The Global Poverty Project, Restless Development, Malaria No More, RESULTS and so many other organisations are working as a team to raises awareness for global poverty.

For me, this signifise a change in the way that organizations work. The coordination and collaboration efforts of NGOs is not going to transform over night, but as someone who truley believes in the work of charities and NGOs, and in the value of collaboration, to see this only fills me with a sense of encouragement. I hope to see these efforts continue in the future.

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