Revolutionary Development: Why Humanitarian and Development Aid Need Radical Shifts

  • Juhi Sonrexa Plan International Australia
Keywords: system transformation, international development, humanitarian sector, power sharing, revolutionary development


A new vision for international development has been called for, and evidence indicates that the industry is experiencing broad fragmentation in terms of identified priorities, challenges, concerns and paths forward. It has most notably struggled to share power with local and national counterparts and truly embody the principles of participatory development. Meanwhile, the rate and intensity of existential crises threaten to overtake humanity’s ability to adapt.

To replace deeply entrenched, unhelpful patterns (assumptions, behaviours and values) requires a new kind of thinking inspired and informed by transcendent learning processes that simultaneously lead to individual and collaborative action and transformation. This paper provides an argument which stresses the need for a seismic shift, from the still dominant underpinnings of modernism mindsets and patriarchal thought-forms towards a relational or participative consciousness that reflects feminist values and the deeply interconnected world that we live within.


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Author Biography

Juhi Sonrexa, Plan International Australia

Juhi Sonrexa is Senior Advisor for Gender and Inclusion in Emergencies at Plan International Australia and has expertise in the conceptualisation, design, delivery and assessment of multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary humanitarian programming, research and reflection processes. She is currently a PhD candidate at Deakin University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences.


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How to Cite
Sonrexa, J. (2021) “Revolutionary Development: Why Humanitarian and Development Aid Need Radical Shifts”, The Humanitarian Leader, p. Working Paper 014, May 2021. doi: 10.21153/thl2021volno0art1076.