Angela Merkel im Davoser Flüchtlingslager


Gerade habe ich William Easterlys neuen blog entdeckt – AidWatch. Just asking that aid benefit the poor.

Easterly ist einer der prominentesten Kritiker der konventionellen Entwicklungszusammenarbeit – sein White Man’s Burden, fasst die wichtigsten Punkte eingängig zusammen. In seinem neuesten blogpost weist er auf das simulierte Flüchtlingslager hin, welches unter der Schirmherrschaft des UNHCR die auf dem Davoser Wirtschaftsgipfel versammelten Promis mit der Realität von Flüchtlingen konfrontieren soll.

Der Refugee Run soll Besuchern – hier die Promi-Gästeliste – zeigen, wie es ist, von Rebellen angegriffen zu werden oder auf ein Minenfeld zu treten.

Easterly findet, dass ein Flüchtlingslager-Themenpark zu weit geht:

Of course, I understand that there were good intentions here, that you really want rich people to have a consciousness of tragedies elsewhere in the world, and mobilize help for the victims. However, I think a Refugee Theme Park crosses a line that should not be crossed. Sensationalizing and dehumanizing and patronizing results in bad aid policy – if you have little respect for the dignity of individuals you are trying to help, you are not going to give THEM much say in what THEY want and need, and how you can help THEM help themselves?

Aber, so Easterly weiter, diese sensationslüstige und bevormundende Haltung ist in der internationalen Entwicklungshilfe gang und gebe. Sehen wir uns nur die Plakate und Briefwurfsendungen vieler Hilfsorganisationen an, auf denen großäugige Kinder um Mitleid und den Spendeneuro betteln. Easterly zitiert David Rief: “There are two groups of people who like to be photographed with children: dictators and aid officials.”


Former World Bank President Wolfowitz with a few children

Here’s a resolution to be proposed at Davos: we rich people hereby recognize each and every citizen of the globe as an individual with their own human dignity equal to our own, regardless of their poverty or refugee status. And Davos man: please give Refugee Run a pass.


4 Responses to “Angela Merkel im Davoser Flüchtlingslager”

  1. 1 Basti Schwiecker 30. Januar 2009 um 11:10

    Danke für den Beitrag, den Blogtipp und das Zitat: „There are two groups of people who like to be photographed with children: dictators and aid officials.“ Böse aber nicht ganz unzutreffend…

  2. 2 Uli Schwarz 31. Januar 2009 um 13:35

    Ja der Blogtipp ist klasse. Ich möchte noch hinzufügen, dass am 6.2. wohl eine Konferenz mit Easterly in New York stattfindet mit einigen anderen interessanten Teilnehmern. Ist von Euch einer dabei? Werde mir auf jeden Fall die „papers“ besorgen.

    Die gnadenlose Ausnutzung des Elends durch Spendenorganisationen nervt. Alexander Glück hat ja in seinem Buch „Der Spendenkomplex“ ausführlich dazu Stellung genommen. Das Fatale daran ist aber, dass es nach wie vor wirkt. Die ehrliche Empathie vieler Spender verdient es, nicht mißbraucht zu werden. Brauchen wir wirklich die „Makler der Nächstenliebe“, die Bürokraten der professionellen Entwicklungarbeit?

  3. 3 David 3. Februar 2009 um 12:27

    Ich habe „Refugee Run“ selber schon gemacht und habe das Gefühl: Gerade wenn jemand als eine Kapazität angesehen wird, sollte er sich mit Dingen auch wirklich beschäftigen, welche er öffentlich kritisiert. Offensichtlich hat Mr. Easterly das nicht getan – schade eigentlich. Uns anstatt einfach über das Plakat zu schimpfen, wäre es ja sicher ein Versuch wert, diese Bedenken an die entsprechenden Stellen selber zu adressieren, weil diese ja eventuell daran interesiert wären, Unzulänglichkeiten zu verändern 😉
    Hier ein Q&A von Crossroads, welche Refugee Run initiiert hat:

    REFUGEE RUN: Questions and Answers


    Why did we come? We wanted to bring alive the refugee issue. The real life struggle of those in this dilemma too easily turns into a set of dry statistics and the humanity of their plight hard to connect with. While, of course, a talk could be given, or a set of slides shown, we have never found either to have the power of an opportunity to encounter something of their difficulty first hand. As the CEO of Nike said, after doing it, “It’s the difference between hearing and being.”


    How realistic can a simulation be? Well, it can only go so far, of course: rather like a live snap shot. The process has been guided, though, by refugee colleagues in order to make it as close to life as such a thing can be. Many of the journalists who filmed it in Davos, moreover, were former war correspondents and told us they were amazed at how true to life the setting was.


    This is certainly an intense activity. We warn people, before undertaking it, that this is the case: grown men have cried in it and many have felt very deeply moved. We give participants a disclaimer to sign before beginning so they understand its seriousness. We also offer people the opportunity to leave, at any point, if it becomes too much for them, and have team members at the ready to offer them a hot drink and an opportunity to chat, if they would like that.


    Can we do this and, in an hour or two, represent refugee life in a way that is respectful to those who struggle with it? That is our challenge, of course. Our refugee colleagues, however, love the result. Raphael Mwandu, from DR Congo, on our HK team, not only advises on the set, but is an artist who helps to construct it. He is also one of the cast and helps with the debrief. “The things you see in this experience are the same as those that happen in the camps,” he told the Davos crowds. “I love doing this because I want to let others know what is going on in our world so that people can meet together and find solutions.”


    People sometimes ask us, “Is this like a theme park?” Well, clearly not if you use that term synonymously with amusement park. It is not for anybody’s entertainment.
    It is “themed”, though, in the same way that a history or science museum is themed to offer visitors an experiential learning opportunity. In fact, the ‘themed’ aspect of the simulation is closest in style to centres for humanitarian workers, globally, which offer training before they enter a situation under actual crisis.


    The camp depicted in this simulation is not supposed to be a UNHCR camp. It is, rather, a camp that typifies the kind which affected persons erect in a desperate bid for safety and shelter. Often these camps are marked by corruption and a lack of control, highlighting the need for the kind of work the UNHCR does. During the debrief, we asked participants to describe what it was like in the camp. The answers:
    “Utter powerlessness.”
    “You lose control of your life.”
    “No rights.”
    “I felt dehumanised.”
    “There was no protection.”
    “I totally shut down.”
    “You live in fear.”
    “You never know what happens next.”
    “There was no hope.”
    “I felt like I wanted to die.”
    “Treated like animals.”
    “I was separated from my family.”
    “I had no personal space.”
    “No time for grieving.”
    “No justice.”
    “Hard to express feelings so deep.”
    “Makes my normal life seem ostentatious.”
    “Intense, shocking, terrifying, but good.”
    “There is no control.”
    “No peace at night.”
    “So many people spontaneously helped the others.”
    “Very realistic”
    “There is no exaggeration. Camp life really is like this.”
    “Really impressive”
    “Very powerful”
    “This should be compulsory for everyone at WEF.”
    “We need reminders like these because we human beings too easily forget.”
    “There’s no better way to communicate than simulation…”


    We have held this “Run”, weekly, in Hong Kong, over the past 18-24 months and watched people become motivated in ways that they never have before.
    Many of the Hong Kong corporate leaders who have participated say it is more powerful than other forms of presentation and, as a result, have remained involved with global issues, long after their simulation experience.

    • 4 joanab 10. Februar 2009 um 15:43

      Hallo David,
      Danke für Deinen ausführlichen Kommentar. Obwohl ich Easterlys kritische Meinung bez. Entwicklungszusammenarbeit in großem Umfang teile, stimme ich Dir zu, dass es immer einfach ist pauschal Simulationen und Edutainment-Ansätze zu verdammen. Meist sind sie aber das nächste, wie größeren Menschenmassen bestimmte Situationen und Themen vermittelt werden können. Dabei handelt es sich oft um Gradwanderungen, die nicht pauschal, sondern nur sehr konkret im Einzelfall beurteilt werden können.

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