by Martin Kirk and Jason Hickel
Humanosphere, 20 March 2017
The annual public letter from Bill and Melinda Gates has become a much-celebrated event in the global development calendar. But lost in the excitement around this year’s letter is the fact that it uses 6,000 words to paint a picture that is so selective in its use of facts that it amounts to little more than propaganda for a failing aid and development industry, and indeed a failing ideology. The couple selected a handful of positive global trends and claimed them all for the foundation. They do not distinguish the achievements of rich philanthropists and donor agencies from the achievements of all the governments, U.N. bodies, multilateral institutions, businesses and social movements that are devoted to global development. More importantly, they fail to offer a single critical reflection on the work they have done.