DfID, NGOs and Charities - Delivery of Aid?

I wouldn't have huge hopes that the Army would be much better than NGOs:

* Most of the troops would be pi$$ed off and really would rather be somewhere else.
* All the CO's would be completely focused on the fact that they had 180 days to make their name at all costs before disappearing back to blighty. (Good for hoying the maximum number of fish at hungry people in the shortest period of time, not good for teaching them to fish for themselves).

There's some good NGO / DFIDish stuff the Army can do, such as the current anti-poaching operations. Even then, the amount of box-ticking nonsense (apparently) with so-called SMEs that that endeavour has to go through to off the ground is probably evidence enough that concepts such as 'agile', 'lateral thinking' , 'light foot print', 'appropriate risk appetite' and common sense have become quite alien to our Army of 'maximised talent'.
The UK Gov should take the ring fenced aid money and set-up a ’Snowflakes Corps’; national service for namby-pamby-safe-spacers. Four months basic training (first aid, digging latrines, putting up tents etc.) followed by eight months in the field picking flies out of babies eyes in deepest darkest Africa. Build in a natural attrition rate (Ebola, Malaria, wrong place, wrong time syndrome) and you will end up with a tolerable bunch of half useful idiots, which might be able to contribute to society.
So unlike our dear Army of today. :)
Agree 100%. I hope this last fuss gives DFID a kick.

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I hope so too. DFID need to be far more vigorous in their auditing and due diligence of the organisations receiving their money....

e.g. should DFID money be spent on expensive headhunters for a post that is being recruited because the incumbent is leaving due to a culture of bullying that is causing huge staff turnover and the associated costs?

Should DFID money be spent flying foreign nationals to London for an expensive workshop that is in fact little more than a grandstanding exercise for the CEO to show off in front of various invited grandees to build his own brand and network?

I could go on....
I met some of the NGO people who were at the front line of giving aid when I was deployed to Angola. I developed a lot of respect for them and what they did having some involvement with assisting on one of their projects. Their code of conduct was very strict and by squaddy standards probably unenforceable. No fraternisation, no booze etc.

Compared with some of our guys shagging just about anything with a hole in it......... in Angola!!!!!! and drinking any old piss that they got their hands on.

We can also be touchingly naive. Same lot of NGOs. We organised a potted sports day for local orphan street children. Slops kindly set up a bit of scoff for after. Had the kids line up then whipped off the covers. Cue 100 little buggers hitting the spread like mini tornadoes. Punching, biting, snot and tears. Total carnage when the dust settled! NGO lady just shaking her head.

I just don't see the British Army delivering aid effectively in the way envisaged by the OP.
I sense a presumption that what I had in mind with my original post was just doing what the NGOs do, just somehow better. That's not at all what I was thinking.

If you look at the composition of the task group I suggested, it's clear that it's a pretty forward-leaning approach, generating infrastructure and education at the local level, one assumes with the support of the local jurisdiction but, to an extent, operating outside it - i;e; with due sensitivity to the local jurisdiction's concerns, but with a clear mandate and a defined and measurable end state to be achieved, before deployment.

Some good points are made upthread about both the current talent and skills available to the UK military and, tellingly, the likely corrosive impact of the MS system on how this could be done - and I take them as informed comment and accept them - that said, it's pretty clear to me that, unless the Army can find itself a role which allows it to maintain some level of support and affection from the electorate - and government, which has fallen pretty conclusively out of love with its soldiers, blaming the Army - whether fairly or unfairly - for 'having lost us two wars' (direct quote from a senior political figure who should have known better), the current decline will continue, to the detriment of the national interest.
That's not really an argument for why the Army should do aid, though.
No, it's not, it's an argument for a politically and electorally attractive niche for the Army to fill (badly*) in order to defend its integrity and interests - and perhaps even do some good and deliver some targeted soft power as well.
* Given the above posts, perhaps the amendment is appropriate?

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