I Wish I Was Making This Up
(I am revisiting a post from 2015 because I think it remains very relevant in 2017) I discovered something important about international development field consultants. International development is when we (the “developed nations”) send money and people to help them (the “undeveloped nations”). First Things Foundation does just that, but not really. Let me explain.
The UN recently advertised for someone to do development work in Guyana. They offered a 25 day 'contract'. Here's the job description:
In accordance with UNDP/GEF procedures, UNDP is hiring an Individual Contractor to develop the MSP proposal for ‘Strengthening Technical Capacities to Mainstream and Monitor Rio Convention Implementation through Policy Coordination’ for submission to the GEF Secretariat fully compliant with the enforced GEF rules and standards as part of the GEF Project Preparation Grant (PPG). The Contractor will report to the Head of the Environment, Extractive Industry & Energy Unit at UNDP Guyana and work closely with UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub Regional Technical Advisor.
Wow. Istanbul? What does Istanbul have to do with it? Besides, what the heck is this person going to do? I think they might "report on capacities and Monitor Rio Convention." Oh, and they'll do it for 25 days. 25 days!?
From what I can tell the UN hire will do this job in a country not their own, and in a language they don’t speak. Are they going to get paid? Oh, yes, they’ll get paid alright.
According to various posts on LinkedIn, (and that is about as close as you can get to clear information on this), junior specialists with a Bachelor's and 7 years of experience can make $300 a day reporting on the poorest of the poor. If you have a Master's and 10 years of experience you can make up to $550 a day. If you have a PhD you can make as much as $1000 a day to "Monitor Rio Convention" and so on, and on and on.
25k for 25 days of “development”? I wish I was making this up!
First Things Foundation sends smart, well educated, western entrepreneurs to listen to the illiterate poor in their own language; identify brilliant local entrepreneurs; stand side by side with them for two years, consulting on their projects; and all while assisting them in the search for thoughtful financing. And we'll do it all for (drum roll)...$36 dollars a day.
$36 a day versus $1000 a day. I am not making this up.
$36 a day for a full-time, 24/7 international problem solver. $36 dollars a day for a person who just might change lives and, more to the point, return home forever changed for the better. I’m glad I’m not making that up.