Statement from the Center for Values in International Development on the Democratic Crisis in the United States

Seldom in our recent history has the United States engaged in such a profound and urgent discourse on the meaning, significance, and relevance of our shared values as a nation. Since the appalling assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, our urgent reflection about our identity as citizens of a mature democracy – on […]

Do No Harm

Do No Harm blackboard with text "first do no harm" and signature Hippocrates

The medical profession in the West has relied on the Hippocratic Oath for roughly 2,500 years.  Verbose at 183 words (in the 1923 Loeb edition), the Oath is frequently distilled to just four words: “First do no harm”. This wise and important maxim is worthy of emulation. While not being a member of the medical […]

An unseemly rush for legacy at USAID

An unseemly rush for legacy at USAID a girl sits with her head bowed and hand on top of her head, holding a sign saying "I'm not for sale"

The clock is about to strike midnight on the Trump administration’s federal grip on American governance, including at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Mid-December following the election of a new administration is typically a time of transition for all federal agencies and departments, where the priority shifts to getting papers and briefing notes […]

David A. Crocker: Human development should be guided by norms and values

David A. Crocker: Human development should be guided by norms and values a dictionary page with the word Ethics highlighted

This piece first appeared in the joint ISC-UNDP project Rethinking Human Development, 2020. You have worked for many years on the ethical dimensions of development and know very well the trajectory of the capabilities approach. How do you think we should rethink the concept of human development in the current context? I believe that the current […]

Self, Other, and Ethics of Care in International Development

Self, Other, and Ethics of Care in International Development arms and hands of several shades grasp each others' wrists

In my current research on international development, I’ve concluded that the feminist theorist and moral philosopher Serene J. Khader presents the most engaging, fresh, and thought-provoking perspective on the issues that international development practitioners face in their work[note]. According to her, such practitioners often engage, either knowingly or unknowingly, in what she terms “unjustified unconscious paternalism,” […]

Libertarian Choice, Moral Relativism, or Social Obligation: The World of COVID-19

Libertarian Choice, Moral Relativism, or Social Obligation: The World of COVID-19 two women in masks wait to cross the street

Over the past couple of months, the world has been thrown into an unprecedented situation unlike any circumstance we have ever encountered. While our daily lifestyles have been altered in unimaginable ways, we are increasingly aware that reconciling our lost sense of normalcy in society depends upon our adherence to safety guidelines and protocols. Though […]

Listen to the Next Generation’s Voices!

Listen to the Next Generation’s Voices! youth demonstrate with a sign saying "sea levels are rising but so are we!"

“Youth Activism is on the rise across the globe.” “Young people are angry.” Such headlines appear prominently across the United States, pointing to young people as beacons of hope, energized both by anger and by eternal optimism. Whether it is Emma Gonzalez’s heart wrenching moment of silence at the March for Our Lives protest, or […]

About that Elephant…USAID’s new gender equality policy

About that Elephant…USAID’s new gender equality policy an elephant's eye

As far as it goes, the USAID draft 2020 Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy is a fine document. Unfortunately, being a fine document isn’t enough. Women – and humanity – deserve so much more from this latest iteration of a longstanding development priority. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – the world’s largest […]

Islamophobia – Tearing Down Walls of Prejudice

Islamophobia – Tearing Down Walls of Prejudice an arched doorway in Morocco with children's silhouettes lit up at the end of the hallway

I was in 8th grade when a friend first mentioned “the geopolitical quagmire that is the Middle East”. You’d think that the most confusing part of that phrase was “geopolitical quagmire” but, in all honesty, I wasn’t even sure which countries were considered “the Middle East”. At that time, I never could have guessed that […]

Civil war meets COVID-19: Cameroon as a case study in deterioration and chaos

Civil war meets COVID-19: Cameroon as a case study in deterioration and chaos a yellow single-story building behind green bushes

Just as it is our moral duty to join the global collaborative efforts to eradicate COVID-19, it is also our moral duty to ensure our fellow human beings have access to peace, education, jobs, housing, and the basic requirement for human dignity. That may be our moral duty, yet we all know that millions of […]

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