Is this genius or crass stupidity?

Deborah Doane used to run the World Development Movement, one of the more crassly foolish of the development NGOs. You know the sort of thing, we must all smash capitalism so that the poor can never become rich like wot we all did. So foolish that they had to change their name to Global Justice Now once enough people caught on.

It should be said that this proposal from her could be complete genius though it does rather depend upon which side you're on here:

From solidarity comes a need to reimagine ownership and accountability. In effect, NGOs are owned by their donors in the global north. A more networked organisation, made up of community-owned groups or co-operatives, could produce a model of mutual delivery, with accountability emerging from the bottom up, not the top down.

In the current model, accountability is about how much food was distributed, or how many girls were educated, to prove value for money to donors. A new model would redefine success – and be based on capacity, empowerment and voice.

In effect stop insisting that the billions upon billions that flow through the aid system and those NGOs actually achieve anything and instead measure by Teh Feelz. If more angry people complain about capitalism then that's the job done.

A cursory think through this shows that it is crass stupidity. After all, we really do want the poor to get rich and we should be measuring how well our aid achieves this so that we can do more of what works, less of what doesn't.

A more detailed think through shows that it is, from Doane's and similar viewpoint, actually an idea of genius. For if what you actually want is billions upon billions to whine about capitalism with no accountability at all then isn't this just what you would desire? Billions upon billions to whine about capitalism with no accountability at all?

Of course, we should tell Doane and all who sail in her idea to go boil their heads but it is still a clever play for our money, isn't it?