The notion of “good enough for the poor” is more common than I would hope. If not expressed verbally, it is definitely visible in actions, and it sets my teeth on edge. Whilst plenty of people have written about not donating our junk and about not giving away expired food, these patterns continue because the sentiment that promotes them seems to be very naturally occurring. It is easy to point the finger at donors, especially those that benefit more from donation dumping, and are not really looking out for the best interests of the people they’re targeting (I am looking at you Corn Soy Blend). However, blame also falls on the many NGOs that continue to accept these practices, particularly because they seem to view donations as cost cutting options.
I recall my first experience sharing the results of a behaviour change program I was working on with my organisation’s donors (all of whom are businessmen). I was presenting the changes in the 30+ indicators used to measure the success of the program, when I arrived at the “47% increase in women’s recognition of the danger signs of diarrhoea,” a fact we were very proud of. It was one of our many statistically significant changes with a 95% confidence interval.