Linking Development Aid and Social Sciences For the Next Generation

      UK Government Spending – 2013

UK Government Spending 2013

In 2013, the UK government achieved its target of contributing 0.7% of its national income in aid, spending £11.4 billion. Most students thought that the amount spent was a lot more!

The world is becoming more complex, with increasing numbers of emergencies, violent crises and people in need of aid. However, the work done by our government in international development seems far removed from our daily lives in the UK.

Aid Works partnered with the Sheffield Institute for International Development (SIID) and the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) Outreach Department to run two Aid Worker for A Day workshops for students from seven schools. The aim was to broaden students’ knowledge of development aid and raise awareness of related courses offered at the University of Sheffield.

The workshop allowed students to debate hot topics in the news, such as UK Aid’s budget, the Ebola crisis and our military’s involvement in aid delivery. They explored the truth behind the headlines – for example, many of the students were surprised to learn that the UK government spends only 0.7% of its budget on international development.

The debates sparked animated discussions on our priorities, our responsibilities to the rest of the world, the perspective of the news and much more. We were incredibly impressed by the knowledge and passion of the students – we think that some of them have a great career in international development ahead of them!

The students also completed a rapid needs assessment for a refugee crisis, and then were given £10 million of funding to allocate between various actors on the ground. We’re pleased to report there was no corruption in the process and all the funds were returned to Aid Works at the end of the day!

The workshops demonstrated the wide range of skills required in the aid sector and highlighted relevant courses offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences and the wider University of Sheffield, such as International Development, Politics and Economics. It also allowed the students to get a taster the interactive nature of teaching at the university and the importance of backing their opinions with evidence and argument.

Aid Works believes that it’s crucial to challenge young people to think about our responsibilities to the rest of the world, and to motivate them to get involved as global citizens. If you would like to run a similar activity for a group of young people, then contact us to discuss how we can help you.