May 26, 2015


Global Development— It’s one of the most loaded phrases you can use in conversations on social good today. Global Development can mean humanitarian aid to relieve the insecurity and misery caused by grievous natural disaster, but it can also mean trade agreements between the World Bank and donor countries. It can mean a great social entrepreneurship initiative like KickStart, but it can also mean charity-model funding from private non-profits like charity:water. It can mean top down and bottom up. It can mean international expertise at odds with local know-how, or it can mean synergy between both. Development can mean spending on health, infrastructure, education and climate. Development cannot exist without Security, and Security cannot exist without Development.

The goal of the AIDemocracy Global Development program to break down key development issues and actions, making them accessible to students in the US. Our mandate is to provide you with impartial, informed and well-researched information to help you create awareness and action on your campus and in your community.

We are keenly aware of the links between Development, Security, Health and the Environment. We understand that for advances to be made in any one of these areas, advances must be made in all.

We support global development solutions that have accountability, transparency and sustainability. We laud global development efforts that build on south-south partnerships, local needs and appropriately used technology innovations. We call for global development projects that support biodiversity, human rights, social justice, local capacity building and women’s’ rights. We understand that this sort of development cannot be undertaken by any one system, organization, country or group. We are eager to discuss the root causes of the gravest ills faced by a majority of the worlds’ population today and we constantly strive to learn how systemic change can proactively address these ills.

Join us—we can’t do this without you!

Find out more about the issues and our work on them:

What you can do

  • Organize an event on your campus. Bring in a speaker. Organize a debate. Stand up and demand change. Check out our event database for some great ideas to get you started.
  • Save US Foreign Aid. We are calling on YOU, students who care about the U.S. role in the world, to campaign against the proposed budget cuts.
  • Stop Gambling on Grain. Join AIDemocracy in telling our leaders, both international and domestic, that we want speculators to Stop Gambling Green on Grain!
  • Show a movie discussing the issue. Check out our film library for a list of free films you can borrow from AIDemocracy. Films come with discussion guides and free shipping. It couldn’t be any easier!
  • Request a mini-grant to make your film or event a success. We provide small grants to help pay for materials, food and speakers. Contact us to discuss.
  • Speak out to the network. Write a blog for our site. Post something on our Facebook group. Share photos or video with us on YouTube. Share your opinions with other concerned students like you. Here’s how to submit materials.
  • Ask for advice and support. Not sure how to get started? Need to talk through ideas for your event? AIDemocracy staff and student leaders are here to help
  • And more…

Read more on this topic ...

Where climate change will hit the US: Are you in danger?

In the first blog in our series on climate change and agriculture, we’re going to start our discussion on these issues by looking at North America, and how this continent will be affected. North America produces huge amounts of corn, soy, and fruit, and if temperatures continue to rise, and weather becomes more unpredictable, it could have a dangerous effect on the future of farming in The United States, Mexico, and Canada. Admittedly, some of these effects could be positive for some farmers. Crops that are limited by the growing season, like … [Read more...]

The Key to Long Term Food Security: Small Scale Farmers

Although it is imperative that people in dire need of food get immediate relief and assistance, there needs to be long term solutions put in place to avert future crises.  One cannot predict a huge drought, but the rainfall in in East Africa has been low for the past two years, partially as a result of human induced climate change.  By the time five regions of Somalia were officially declared to be experiencing famines in July 2011, 3.7 million people were already in need of emergency aid and 10 million were affected.  Yet, in August 2010, USAID released … [Read more...]

Famine in the Horn of Africa caused by biofuels?

While African countries like Madagascar, Mail, and Senegal dedicate hundreds of thousands of hectares of land to biofuel production, countries in the horn of Africa are suffering from extreme famine as a result. Western countries like Italy, Germany, France, the United States, and Brazil all own multiple biofuel companies that operate in different parts of Africa. This means that all that land is being used to provide energy for western countries, and not to produce food crops that could be used to help those suffering from famine in the region. … [Read more...]

Biofuels: a truly global challenge

Biofuels, although largely produced and consumed by Western countries like the United States and Brazil, are not a Western problem. The impacts of rising food prices and land grabs are affecting farmers and people at risk for hunger all over the world. In this blog post, I want to focus on the impacts of biofuels in Asian countries, because as the market for biofuels is increasing thanks to quotas created by the US and the EU, farmers in Asia are jumping on the bandwagon to try to make some money. One country that has been negatively affected by … [Read more...]

Addressing climate change through biodiverse agriculture

The current dominating agriculture system, which is often characterized by monocropping, is highly energy intensive and therefore responsible for high greenhouse gas emissions. Ironically, agriculture itself will be severely impacted by global warming to which it is largely contributing. However, biodiverse agricultural systems can help address climate change challenges. Agriculture and livestock rearing and fertilizer use are large contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the form of methane and nitrous oxide, which are more serious than carbon … [Read more...]

Links between climate change and food security cannot be ignored

Agricultural yields are closely dependent on weather patterns. With increasing climate variability and change, agriculture and subsequently human well-being will be negatively impacted. While some places might see a rise in crop yield, the net effect of agricultural yields worldwide will be negative, with South Asia thought to be hit the hardest. High temperatures often lead to weed and pest proliferation, while reducing crop yields. Impacts of climate change on agriculture are three fold: 1. Biological effects, namely the rising temperatures and … [Read more...]

Buy food locally – in Sub-Saharan Africa

In 2007, CARE International, a large aid organization, turned down $46 billion worth of grain a year from the US government.  In doing this, CARE was protesting the US policy of monetized food aid. Monetized food aid, in this context, essentially entails American grain being shipped to charities across the world, who then sell this grain to fund their own anti-poverty projects. Charities receiving grain are incentivized to sell below market prices, depressing prices for local farmers. Instead of reaching the poorest, this grain tends to support those who … [Read more...]

COP17 – Show me the money!

By Ilana Solomon. Every year, countries that have signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gather to discuss next steps on fighting the climate crisis.  This year, 194 countries will gather in Durban, South Africa.  This conference has particular significance, as it is taking place on the continent of Africa—one of the continents most deeply impacted by climate change. It is projected that in some countries in Africa yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to half by 2020—less than ten years from … [Read more...]

We’re hiring! Hunger & Climate Change Fellow

Are you a student interested in fighting poverty and addressing climate change? Do you believe that students have both the power and the obligation to speak out about global challenges? Americans for Informed Democracy is accepting applications from inspired, globally conscious students who are interested in getting hands-on experience educating and mobilizing youth around global development and the environment. The Hunger & Climate Change Fellow will support our national student network around these issues. Specific tasks will include supporting … [Read more...]

Double Standard in Approaches to Food Aid

During the Accra Agenda for Action in 2008, 100 governments committed to making aid more transparent, results oriented, and accountable to those receiving aid. Advocates of the subsequently defined SMART Aid principles  have produced or highlighted some SMART Aid projects. For instance, DFID, the UK’s Department for International Development, in tandem with the Malawian government, supports a subsidy that provides fertilizer to increase corn production. This has decreased Malawi’s reliance on emergency food aid, increasing their food security. … [Read more...]