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The Dignity Report 2022

Gathering allies worldwide

Elizabeth Ndwati, Christine Mwende, and Beryl Lukhasia share a hug. Photo by Calvo Ochieng/Hood Creation.

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The Dignity Initiative at IDinsight

This is a moment for dignity. The whole development sector is reflecting on its failings. We all know that neither localisation nor corporate diversity will deliver the necessary changes to the sector alone. Two UK Parliamentary reports – on the FCDO’s strategy and on racism in the development sector – have used our evidence this year to argue for an approach to development assistance that respects people’s dignity.

What we have seen in our work is this: the idea of dignity has traction in yoking together these disparate debates for reform and refocusing development assistance on the human hopes of the people we seek to serve. We make real progress with dignity when we can help the sector take practical steps.

That’s why we, as IDinsight, invested so much in building tools – survey measures, Dignity Audits, and reflection workshops. So far this year, our survey measures have been taken up by programs serving almost eleven million people. In the first half of this report, we reflect on how to build dignity through tools like these, and all that we’ve learned from longtime pioneers in this cause. 

2022 has been a year of building community. There is today a brimming network of allies of dignity. We’re proud to collaborate with them, and to have many contribute to this report. To harness these tools and continue this research – to ensure that dignity has all the impact on the world that it ought to – we need to continue to come together as a collective movement in a shared endeavor.

For us, 2023 is going to be the year of solutions. We must build links, start new collaborations, and learn from one another. We will bring forward specific recommended changes to development programs. Only by doing so can we answer the call that people make in our research for bureaucracies and structures of development assistance that routinely perceive the full complex humanity of the people who they seek to serve.

In solidarity,
Tom Wein
(Director, Dignity Initiative – IDinsight)