Should the government withhold funding from overseas aid groups that do not align with the ruling party's politics?
AJIT SINGH SAHOTA is a founding member of of the Sikh National Archives of Canada; he was president of the World Sikh Organization of Canada from 2001 to 2005.
In the Sikh religion, respect for human rights, equality of all and truthfulness are important.
Therefore, the funding of overseas aid groups should not turn on the politics of the government in power.Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/canada/30848-should-government-withhold-funding-overseas-aid.html
The critical issue should be whether the group is doing good work that is making a difference on the ground while operating on a principle of equality for all persons.Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=30848
That means the funding of overseas aid groups should be determined by objective, evidence-based criteria that reflect measurable outcomes.
Some examples of specific criteria include improved shelter, increased access to education and health care, and increased awareness and advocacy for victims of human rights abuses.
Financially speaking, groups should have a transparent auditing process and relatively low administrative costs. If a group meets these criteria and contributes to the welfare of the community, politics should have no role in determining funding.
When politics enters the equation, we see governments withhold funding from some groups to please a certain vote bank or curry favour with foreign trade partners. Real issues of human rights and whether the aid was genuinely making a difference in people's lives can fall by the wayside, and that is unacceptable.
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