Met 2 Norwegians and a Swedish from the Norwegian MFA and from the EEA in Brussels ( people that design the funding framework and manage a significant amount of money given to the civil society). Explained a bit about what a ghetto means and why their previous funding made very little sense. All of them seemed utterly clueless.They agreed that things should change, that indeed impact should be in the communities and not on the paper but the guy at the Norwegian MFA ended saying that they can not change much in the framework of grants because -„this is the way the business works”.
When I heard it I thought he just put his foot in his mouth but now I understood- he was bloody right.
The social inclusion, extreme poverty and human rights is a profitable business for many and a vocation for few. There are indeed a good number of people in the middle. Unfortunately those that design the funding are mostly morons that think it is a well established business with rules that can not change as that will affect their advantaged status quo. Most of them are well skilled in using all the fancy coin words „innovativeness, reform, empowerment, grassroots, disadvantaged groups” in a way that is both sad and meaningless. Most of them are well educated and capable to rationalize whatever crap they want to believe in.
The problem is that these guys receive mainly lip service and encouragement from people they talk to as they hold the key to the money and survival of the NGOs including of those that are lead and staffed by great people.
Reform is difficult but if we keep silent is impossible. The way most of the grants work at this moment in Europe is a well paid road to replace civil society with expert organisations that provide social services. „The way the business works” is wrong as is based on habits, lies and lip service. This is simply no business – is just another type of corruption fed by cowardice and intellectual dishonesty.