Is The Gates Foundation to Big?
The headline has probably caught many by surprise. How can anyone cry for an international investigation and a public inquiry, into the biggest philanthropists of all time? Well, in January the Global Justice Now foundation released a critical report on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They make various critical points and some have been challenged by the foundation with merit. Yet, their main critique seems to center around two key points:
1) They claim the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation does not run a neutral charitable strategy and particularly benefits big businesses in the agricultural and health sector through its ”ideological commitment to promote neoliberal economic policies and corporate globalisation,”.
2) It is thought that the sheer size and power of the foundation forces other, potentially critical actors, concerned with international development to be silenced and bullied into the narrative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The report states ”who has regular access to world leaders and is in effect personally bankrolling hundreds of universities, international organisations, NGOs and media outlets, has become the single most influential voice in international development.”.
I suppose no matter what you do, there is always someone ready with critique. Whether the remarks are valid or not we will surely find out over the coming months as the story develops. If the intentions of the foundation are legitimate then one would suspect a good hard critical look at your own work, even if that is through a third party enquiry, could be a positive thing and used as a tool for reflection. Do check out the entire paper Gated Development: Is the Gates Foundation always a force for good? and let us know your thoughts in the comments.