Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ramesh Singh, Chief Executive, ActionAid International, Johannesburg, South Africa

Trained as seed technologist at the University of Edinburgh (UK), most of Ramesh Singh’s work has revolved around poverty alleviation in developing countries. Singh has worked with ActionAid for over 20 years, initially in the Gambia, then as country director in Ethiopia, Nepal (where he was born) and Vietnam, as Asia regional director in Bangkok, as operations director in London and as ActionAid International’s chief executive since December 2003. He successfully led ActionAid’s process of internationalization and the delivery of the organization’s strategic objectives of Rights to End Poverty. In recent years, Singh has been known for his work on changing the rules and regulations that exacerbate poverty in developing countries and confronting donors and recipients (developing countries) to find a way in which aid itself can contribute to the end of aid. He argues that donor communities must go beyond the rhetoric around ‘country ownership’ to find forms of international cooperation that support developing countries to achieve more self-sufficient financing of their own growth strategies, their own natural resources and their own public policies. Singh and his colleagues from ActionAid are instrumental in developing projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America that enable people living in poverty to claim their rights – to, for example, education, food and drugs for treating HIV/AIDS.

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