Dana McNairn

Dana McNairn

For the last ten years Dana McNairn has worked for NGOs on the frontline of human rights and gender-based violence, as well as INGOs such as the Canadian Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. She is the CEO of KOTO, an award-winning nonprofit social enterprise and vocational training programme for at-risk and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam.
Website URL: http://danamcnairn.com

Refugees crossing the Mediterranean. The EU hasn't worked out how to deal with them.

Utilitarian bioethicist Peter Singer is in the news annoying both the animal rights activists who aren’t hardcore enough for him and the charities who don’t deliver enough programme impact. He has a new book out, but what got me thinking was hunting — the predatory manoeuvers of man on man and man on beast.

I recently gave a talk on utilising ‘innovative partnerships’ as a way to solve ‘human capital’ issues within the hospitality and tourism industry. But I was reluctant to pepper my talk with ‘innovation’ or ‘innovative’ and instead used the word ‘progressive’.

Not that long ago I attended an event where a couple — both foreigners — were decked out in the Vietnamese national dress: she, an ao dai and he, an ao gam, both in headgear. While the evening had great music and dancing, it was neither a wedding nor a state function. Why were they dressed up in another culture’s national costume? “Because it’s fun!” was the breathless reply.

The photo op... Angelina Jolie in her role as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

We’ve been told that you cannot make money while helping the poor because that is morally repugnant. But I believe you can ‘do well’ by ‘doing good’ and balance a social agenda with a profit agenda.

I recently wrote — with some glee — about rogue NGOs. Now we’ll look at some good NGOs and reasons to be optimistic about development.

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