Development Aid “Dragon’s Den”

The annual Development Economics workshop at Stewart’s Melville College in Edinburgh, sponsored by the PDG Trust, was held on Thursday 10 October 2019.

£100 million awarded!

The workshop started with a short introductory lecture introducing the work of the Trust and describing the focus of the afternoon’s activities, related to development aid. The first activity was called ‘Overseas Aid in the Dragon’s Den’ and the pupils quickly got into the spirit of things.  The pupils worked in teams, each representing a developing country, to bid for £100m in aid  available from ‘the Dragons’; the Dragons being played by three S6 pupils who represented the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development and the International Red Cross. Working to tight timescales, all teams put forward persuasive bids yet only one country succeeded in receiving the much-needed funds.

From this activity pupils were able to better understand that aid is not guaranteed as each aid institution has limited funds and specific criteria to adhere to that some developing countries just don’t meet. This led on to the next challenging question: when a country does not receive aid, what other options does it have to develop and grow? 

Pupils were tasked with finding the most appropriate combination of policy solutions that would enable a poor country to generate growth without financial assistance in the form of aid. The groups took a thoughtful, practical and serious approach about finding economics-based solutions to the problem.

Three external judges from the PDG Trust selected 4 winners, though they considered all the contributions made to be of an excellent standard. The winners are:

  • Tom Poole 6STB
  • Dan Chester 4T
  • Forbes Gumley 4T
  • Cameron Livingston 4A
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