Can the way we talk about our work reinforce colonial attitudes to development or embed disempowering narratives? Does our choice of words alienate the general public from what we do?
We wanted to unpick these big questions with you and build a new consensus on language use to describe what we do and why. In January, we invited all interested members to join us for a roundtable discussion to reflect on these issues via a draft paper ‘Decolonising language in international development in Scotland’. In this document, we summarised some of the great work already being done and put forward some priniciples and parameters for language use in the Scottish sector.
From our perspective, this work is vital to help ensure that we communicate what our sector does in a way that doesn’t reinforce colonial or out-dated thinking. It sits alongside a range of other workstreams that many Alliance members are already deeply committed to, such as “shifting the power” and safeguarding.