With a summit close at hand, one thing we can be sure of is that pointless ‘initiatives’ can’t be far behind. The criteria for such ‘announceables’ are simple: they must grab headlines and create the impression that something is happening, while avoiding any domestic implementation commitments or – horror! – funding obligations.
So while you’re getting ready to play G20 bingo (SDR issue? tick! tax haven rules? tick!), it’s also a good moment to launch the hunt for the pointless initiative of the week. One strong candidate has already emerged: DFID has proposed
a new ‘Global Poverty Alert’ system that would link international organisations, aid agencies and research groups into a single network that would provide instant updates on the impact of the economic crisis on the poor. This would include ‘real-time’ updates using text messaging and emails. The proposal will be put forward at next month’s G20 meeting in London.
Excellent work! Really visionary stuff. Now, how might it work? Hm. Well, what if we designed something that allowed lots of users to join, and post updates on poverty? We could let them post links to stuff on the web, too. And to keep it punchy and accessible, we could limit posts to 140 characters or less. I … um … oh.
Er… perhaps if we built a… large wooden badger?