What’s in a name?

Quite a lot actually. Thanks to the Roving Bandit, I happened upon this BBC news article. The main focus of the article is on DFID’s totally original new strategy to start focusing more on post-conflict countries, but tucked into the middle of the article is a single, terrifying sentence:

His department will also get a new look – branded UK Aid – to try to raise the profile of British government spending on international development.

Noooooooooooooooo! This is such an awful, awful idea. DFID has, since its inception worked up a decent, if spotty reputation for being serious about development, which is a wholly different concept than aid (yes, I know that our blog name doesn’t seem to make that distinction, but it’s catchy, so there). There’s a nice, short discussion by Lant Pritchett over at Aid Watch on the difference between the two, and the very basic problems with USAID’s name, which it seems that DFID, an infinitely better department, is fervently trying to ape.

They do look rather similar, don't they?

Seem familiar?

It’s unclear as to whether or not this is a full re-branding. Currently the new logo sits awkwardly on the right hand side of DFID’s website, peering evilly at its older brother, waiting for a chance to take its proper place at the helm.

On another note, since when did Collier’s ideas on security (which I agree somewhat with wished there would be more discussion about) become accepted enough to start influencing policy? The book has only been out a few months!

His department will also get a new look – branded UK Aid – to try to raise the profile of British government spending on international development.

4 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Ranil Dissanayake

    July 8, 2009 at 12:08pm

    You know the blogs much better than I, but wasn’t there a blog a couple of months ago that nailed Douglas Alexander for getting ‘accountability’ and ‘self-promotion’ mixed up? Blood and Milk? Wronging Rights? This is another manifestation of it.

    I’m steaming mad. the only reason for doing this rebrand is exactly that: branding: they want everyone to know how generous DfID is. Will we be getting pen drives with ‘From the British people’ emblazoned on it now? Pathetic.

  2. Ranil Dissanayake

    July 9, 2009 at 6:44am

    Well found. thanks.

  3. [...] entries by NGO-worker Dianne Bennett. Her previous post, on DFID’s Douglas Alexander’s inability to distinguish between self-promotion and accountability, was well-argued and thoughtful. Her more recent post is a bit harder to [...]

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