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Ben Best

Role: African Program Staff

Date: March 2010 – 2011

Sector Team: Rural Agriculture – Ghana

Ben, a graduate of the University of Waterloo and active member of both the University of Waterloo Chapter and EWB-Grand River, writes the following about his decision to join EWB’s African Program Staff:

In 2006 I had the opportunity to work in Ghana as a Junior Fellow with EWB. I found incredibly poor people who were incredibly proud, smart, and hardworking. I also saw how badly the system of development was failing these people. I saw how development was being run as an industry, but with accountability upwards to donor countries like Canada instead of to the ‘customers’ of development – the people who should be benefiting from the countless projects and NGOs operating in developing countries around the world.

It is the combination of the incredible potential of people and the tragic failure of the development industry that motivates me to work with EWB as a staff member in Africa. I believe EWB brings a unique perspective to development by working close to the ground in Africa while influencing decision makers like the Canadian government who operate far away from the field and can make uninformed decisions that can do more harm than good in the complex system of development. Despite the challenges and frustrations of a broken system, I believe that the system can and will change, and that I can play a role in making that change happen.