Bangladeshi Academics Accuse the West of Blowing Climate Funds on Powerpoint Slide Consultants


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to two high profile Bangladeshi academics, the majority of climate funds which reach poor countries are being spent on expensive outside consultants who arrive, show a few powerpoint slides, then leave, with very little genuine benefit to the recipient countries.

Stop sending climate consultants to poor countries – invest in universities instead

As we edge closer to global consensus on climate change and the need to reduce emissions, the focus has moved from debating the science or the need for global action to the responsibility of individual countries to provide assistance to those affected.

Not all countries have same capability to reduce emissions, measure and report progress, or increase resilience against climate change. To make matters worse, the countries that do not have these capabilities, such as Bangladesh, are often the ones that suffer the worst effects of climate change. To breach this gap, climate negotiators and officials often refer to “capacity building”.

Powerpoint won’t stop climate change

What does capacity building look like in practice?

Our experience in Bangladesh is this: developed countries allocate funds for projects or programs aimed at climate change capacity building, and allocate the money to their own official development assistance agencies. These agencies often go on to assign private consultancy companies from their own country to the programme.

The private companies then send consultants to the designated country to provide short-term assistance which, in most cases, is given in the form of workshops and presentations.

The consultants usually do not know the local language, and so conduct their workshops in their own language, (which, of course, is usually a second language for the audience, who are trying to build their capacity). Often, do not they know the context of the country they are working in.

After this, we see few more visits by the designated consultants, some report writing, and just like that: capacity building has happened. By the end of the programme, a major part of the funding available for capacity building has gone to the development agency and the consultancy company.

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The academics who made this assertion are Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change & Development, Independent University, Bangladesh and Naznin Nasir, Coordinator of Loss and Damage Program and Communications, Independent University, Bangladesh.

I expected that much of the climate cash which finally made it through the UN bureaucracy was being wasted, but I imagined that it was probably being spent on useless climate related infrastructure – solar panels, wind turbines, that kind of thing. I thought that the UN was at least making a pretence of creating climate related preparedness.

The picture Saleemul and Naznin paint is worse than my lowest expectations – the only locals who are likely to profit from such a ridiculous parade of well paid climate powerpoint consultants are a few rich hoteliers, and possibly a few local providers of post presentation entertainment services.

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October 5, 2016 8:00 am

Powerpoint slides are to climate change what Moses’ rod was to the parting of the red sea (Think Al Gore).

Reply to  BallBounces
October 5, 2016 8:09 am

You have to admit though, Moses’ staff was a lot more potent than a laser pointer!

Reply to  ClimateOtter
October 5, 2016 8:43 am

Yes, but not in the minds of warmists 😉

Reply to  BallBounces
October 5, 2016 9:35 am

PowerPoint slide consultants have to eat too.

Reply to  MarkW
October 5, 2016 1:03 pm

Do they have to eat finest caviar, washed down by fine wines – and a couple of bottles of Veuve Clicquot ’02?
Or should steak and croquettes, with salsa, be quite good enough?
[Tonight: – lemon chicken thighs, boiled new potatoes and steamed veggies]

george e. smith
Reply to  BallBounces
October 5, 2016 5:35 pm

The USA used to have a Student Visa program to bring students to the USA from places like Bangladesh, to educate them. Then they went back home to where they came from, to advance the education in their country. A student visa could NOT be converted to a green card immigration visa or any other. You come, go to school, and go home.
This program has been bastardized into a third world cheap worker program. The Student Visee, with no special knowledge or education skills, gets married, arrives with pregnant wife or self, and works for below market wages, until they have their anchor children. Then they bring their parents, grand parents, aunts, uncles etc, and never go back to improve the land of their birth.
And the H1B visa scam just aids and abets this displacement of qualified US citizen workers.

October 5, 2016 8:11 am

Gee, what a surprise. Bureaucrats spending all the money.

Reply to  beng135
October 5, 2016 9:37 am

“By the end of the programme, a major part of the funding available for capacity building has gone to the development agency and the consultancy company.”
Anyone who is surprised by this, simply doesn’t know how government works.

Reply to  MarkW
October 5, 2016 1:04 pm

“Anyone who is surprised by this, simply doesn’t know how government works.”
Spot on.
Got it in one.

Lance Wallace
October 5, 2016 8:14 am

“local providers of post presentation entertainment services”
I applaud your delicate avoidance of the one-word synonym

October 5, 2016 8:15 am

Yep,sure is a good gig-if you’re in the band.Just another indication that the whole show is a joke and very suspicious.

October 5, 2016 8:16 am

From the beginning the AGW ‘movement’ has been about gathering public funds to be directed to so-called ‘experts’, from consultants to tech developers to entrepreneurs. There has never been any realistic hope of reversing the climbing CO2 levels, ‘freezing’ the alleged temperature rise, or enabling local populations to cope.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  tadchem
October 5, 2016 10:13 am

ding ding ding! You are correct sir! Give that man a cookie.

Walter Sobchak
October 5, 2016 8:26 am

I am only surprised that you are surprised.

Mark from the Midwest
October 5, 2016 8:30 am

That’s what happens when you give a budget to people who have never built anything, (a business, a prototype or working model, and on and on). They think the solutions are so obvious that all you need to do is wave the laser-pointer and it’s a fait accompli.

UK Marcus
October 5, 2016 8:34 am

Yet another example of ‘Death by Power Point’
Why dont they use Keynote? At least the transitions would look good, even if the content was the usual recycled rubbish.

October 5, 2016 8:43 am

California’s Fire Fee parcel tax on the rural home and land owners is similar program. Millions collected annually as “fees” and spent for “Wildfire Awareness” on letting everyone know the dangers of wildfire… Not a cent to putting them out.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
October 5, 2016 9:16 am

I remembered, Late Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi in 70s told to World Bank: If you want give us loan please give us the amount but not your consultants to help as India has wealth of technically qualified experts — the amount goes towards the consultants runs in to around 30 to 35% of the loan.
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
October 5, 2016 9:37 am

Excerpted from above:

… the amount goes towards the consultants runs in to around 30 to 35% of the loan.

SURPRISE, …. SURPRISE, …… and just why do you think that “loan” was approved?
And the correct answer is: The one(s) who approved the loan …. also gets to appoint the consultant(s).
Just another one of the many forms of “legal” Political Payback.

Samuel C Cogar
October 5, 2016 9:17 am

Excerpted from above article:

Stop sending climate consultants to poor countries – invest in universities instead

WHOAH, …… don’t be so quick to criticize.
It is still far, far cheaper and more productive to send several climate consultants to a poor country ……. than it is to send several climate consultants (along with hundreds of other AGW experts) on a two-week “all-expenses-paid” trip to attend important meetings in Dubai, UAE.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
October 5, 2016 9:35 am

Better yet, send them to the moon. It’s a terrible environment there.

Steve Fraser
Reply to  John Harmsworth
October 5, 2016 10:22 am

Yes, great view, but not much atmosphere…

Reply to  John Harmsworth
October 5, 2016 12:52 pm

You can improve the atmosphere with a good singer and a few potted ferns.

george e. smith
Reply to  John Harmsworth
October 5, 2016 5:38 pm

That’s a few Pot ferns !

John Boles
October 5, 2016 9:20 am

This is hilarious, the story and the comments, just what one would expect from climate bureaucrats, lots of money on ppt slides, but no changing of the weather, priceless.

Reply to  John Boles
October 5, 2016 4:42 pm

You’re kidding, right?
They know they can’t change the weather any more than they can lower CO2.
That’s why they don’t waste your money even trying to do either.
There are much better ways to piss away your money.

October 5, 2016 9:23 am

This sort of non-sense has been going on for decades. There was a book written in 1958 called “The Ugly American” that looked at the failures of American diplomacy in southeast Asia during the cold war. It “depicts the failures of the U.S. diplomatic corps, whose insensitivity to local language, culture, customs and refusal to integrate was in marked contrast to the polished abilities of Eastern Bloc” according to Wikipedia. The western elite have not changed one bit have they.

Reply to  Sean
October 5, 2016 10:11 am

Amen. These people are arrogant and clueless.
My favorite example concerns arctic (and antarctic) explorers. Most of them thought they had nothing to learn from the local population. Lots of them died a miserable death.
The notable exception was Roald Amundsen who did bother to learn from the Eskimos.

ferd berple
Reply to  commieBob
October 5, 2016 11:59 am

The notable exception was Roald Amundsen
the greenies would crucify him today and applaud Scott, because Amundsen used dogs to pull the sleds, and ate the excess dogs along the way as food for both men and dogs. Scott on the other hand used ponies to pull the sleds and carried hay as their food. But of course in Scott’s case all the ponies and all the men died, while in Amundsen’s case all the men survived, and 11 out of 52 dogs survived.

October 5, 2016 9:47 am

Same can be said for virtually all relief foundations of various stripes and unfortunately even direct material aid being diverted to more profitable enterprise. Bangladesh has experienced every sort of swindle in the “we are here to help” genera of assistance. Such a shame that the citizens of the west charitable inclinations are so rudely used by bureaucracy and thieves.

October 5, 2016 10:01 am

Maybe there is a shortage of sinking river delta islands to use in scare stories. That leaves Powerpoint to fill the void.

October 5, 2016 10:09 am

Richard Feynman said that `science is the belief in the ignorance of experts`.

Juan Slayton
October 5, 2016 10:17 am

There is one type of institution that…is the oldest capacity-building institution around: the university.
Smile… OK, I’ll cede the ‘oldest’ part. But if ‘capacity’ means protection against the forces of nature, I’ll look elsewhere for help. (The Army Corps of Engineers comes to mind.) Countries like Bangladesh certainly need such capacity, and they need it now, with or without climate change. I have to hope that some of the cash that is being poured into international climate scare will in fact provide on-the-ground protection from floods, cyclones, earthquakes, etc. But university ‘research’? Gimme a break.

Reply to  Juan Slayton
October 5, 2016 4:46 pm

“I have to hope that some of the cash that is being poured into international climate scare will in fact provide on-the-ground protection from floods, cyclones, earthquakes, etc. ”
They can’t even do that here in the US.

Ben of Houston
Reply to  Juan Slayton
October 6, 2016 5:11 am

Juan, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Let’s presume they are wanting to build schools to train engineers, doctors, and other personnel necessary for an advanced technical country to proceed.
Heck, even raw research in the most esoteric areas of underwater basketweaving would be better than what they describe in this article, because the benefit would be “little” rather than none.

Caligula Jones
October 5, 2016 10:20 am

PJ O’Rourke wrote many decades ago that you could pretty much stop spending money on trying to figure out where the next global hotspot is going to be. All you have to do is look where the World Bank and the International Money Fund goes, and there will be riots within six months.
As for PowerPoint: I once had a consultant send me a slide from a months old slidedeck after I complained that something in a project wasn’t working. Apparently, I was supposed to wave it at my computer or something…how dare I show something didn’t work in reality when it quite obviously worked in theory (and in three colours…).

Patrick B
October 5, 2016 10:23 am

To the extent money is being spent, better to spend it on whatever leads to the least future built in costs. If this money was actually spent on hardware, it would entail future maintenance costs, payment of subsidies on the generated power etc. Far better that this money be wasted on here and gone consultants that don’t leave any ongoing costs.

Reply to  Patrick B
October 5, 2016 12:55 pm

That depends on how careful the “local providers of post presentation entertainment services” are.

Bloke down the pub
October 5, 2016 10:23 am

So by the time their emissions from travelling there are taken in to account, their contribution is worse than zero.

October 5, 2016 10:33 am

Hey, Power Point Pimps gotta eat too. 🙂

October 5, 2016 10:58 am

It’s worse than we thought?

October 5, 2016 11:30 am

Assignment for the night: compare and contrast climate powerpoint consultants’ presentations with speeches given by the Clintons.

Joe Zeise
Reply to  Taphonomic
October 5, 2016 12:44 pm

Kind of like the Clinton Foundation, a slush fund.
Per a Charity Watchdog

October 5, 2016 12:07 pm

Foreign aid is almost always a scam whereby products that cannot be sold in the donor country are given to recipient country. In return the company providing the products is given full market value for something that would otherwise be worthless, and the political party that organizes the aid gets a large campaign contribution.
The only one out of pocket in all this is the hapless taxpayer, but since it was the taxpayer that voted the political party into power, the politicians have all the conscience of the successful burglar. “Hey, don’t blame me. You let me in the door. It is your fault I stole your money. I’m simply doing what I do for a living. Don’t blame me that you were too stupid to see through my lies.”

Reply to  ferdberple
October 5, 2016 4:55 pm

That sounds just like Jon Gruber the lying health care expert.

October 5, 2016 2:22 pm

It really doesn’t matter where or how funds are spent on Global Warming / Climarte Change Alarmism. It is all just money wasted and flushed down the drain . It should all be redirected to actual problems

Reply to  ntesdorf
October 6, 2016 5:19 am

On the contrary, The various solutions range from items with actual benefits under certain situations (efficient light bulbs); to useful things that just aren’t worth the costs (solar panels), to useless things (this), to worse than useless (convincing farmers to grow indedible oil seeds for biofuel and then shutting down the biofuel plants in India comes to mind).

Horse Feathers
October 5, 2016 2:23 pm

So, now the cult of Algore-isms are sending out missionaries? How 1984-ish!

October 5, 2016 2:30 pm

Engineers build stuff that is useful to society, climate scientists build models and do presentations

October 5, 2016 2:49 pm

Bangladesh is in the tropics where cyclones, floods, and excessive heat are part of their normal climate. If their climate really changes radically then they will need better insulated buildings and snow removal equipment. Since the science is settled no more money needs to be spent studying it. Instead of sending consultants to such currently tropical countries, they should be sending snow shovels.

Johann Wundersamer
October 5, 2016 5:08 pm

Not all countries have same capability to reduce emissions, measure and report progress, or increase resilience against climate change. To make matters worse, the countries that do not have these capabilities, such as Bangladesh, are often the ones that suffer the worst effects of climate change. To breach this gap, climate negotiators and officials often refer to “capacity building”.
Bangladesh has ruined western textile industries by selling t-shirts for $10 the piece.
After showing our countrymen jobless thei’re asking for money too.
Did I get that right? Duh.

October 5, 2016 5:13 pm

So the ones squawking about it and “spreading the word” are the ones pocketing all the money. Why am I not surprised. I hope this exposure trips deeper examination. This should be properly (and publicly) explored.

Not Chicken Little
October 5, 2016 6:29 pm

Wow are the Bangladeshi so backwards they don’t know how the climate game is played? Er, I mean the climate scam, er, I mean how modern climate science works? How do they ever expect to get on board the lucrative gravy train unless they emulate the power point scam presentations of the enlightened climate warriors who selfishly – uh, I mean selflessly – travel first-class to the third world bringing the true light of climate knowledge to the benighted natives? And they do it for mere thousands and thousands a trip! Oh the nobility is just so satisfying (to their bank accounts)…

Poor Richard
October 6, 2016 3:15 am

Regarding consultants:
A shepherd was herding his flock in a remote pasture when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him.
The driver, a young man in an Armani suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the shepherd, “If I tell you exactly how many sheep you have in your flock, will you give me one?”
The shepherd looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing flock and calmly answers, “Sure. Why not?”
The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his AT&T cell phone, surfs to a NASA page on the internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite navigation system to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo. The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany. Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of complex formulas. He uploads all of this data via an email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.
Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and finally turns to the shepherd and says, “You have exactly 1,586 sheep.”
“That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my sheep.” says the shepherd. He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.
Then the shepherd says to the young man, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my sheep? “
The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, “Okay, why not?”
“You’re a consultant.” says the shepherd.
“Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie, “but how did you guess that?”
“No guessing required.” answered the shepherd. “You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked; and you don’t know crap about my business…”
“…Now give me back my dog!”

October 6, 2016 10:50 pm

But surely this is good news? Given that the money was never going to be spent on anything useless, at least spending it on consultants does comparatively little harm and puts some money in the purses of the local providers of post presentation entertainment services.
This is so funny I don’t know whether to fall about laughing or hit something.

October 13, 2016 2:31 pm

Sometimes foreign aid seems intended to benefit people in the giving country like Canada or the US. A classic case was providing a diesel genset to people who could not afford the diesel fuel. What they needed most was a manual well pump, which could be maintained by locals. (Some vegetable oil to lubricate, replace the seal with leather made from local animals.) One smart aid agency even managed to convince the paternalistic males in the tribe to keep their hands out of the water system, so the females could run it to support their duties (washing clothes, cooking food, cleaning up babies – they had motivation to manage it properly.
But a major problem is political culture in the country. Look at South America – flipping from one regime to another, up and down economies (not even counting the idiots in Venezuela who voted Her Chavez in to ruin the country).
Worse in some parts of Africa – one tribe trying to murder the other, and once again Islamic Totalitarians trying to take over countries.
People in Bangladesh are capable, it’s leadership that is lacking, voters don’t know how to develop candidates who will be stewards not politicians. Well, culture is a problem, look at ultra-mystical Haiti versus the Dominican Republic next door.

Reply to  Keith Sketchley
October 13, 2016 2:58 pm

So what’s needed in Bangladesh are schools teaching sound values for human life. Books are available, such as Tara Smith’s Moral Rights and Political Freedom, and Viable Values, and Andrew Bernstein’s narrowly named broadly-written The Capitalist Manifesto, and the ideas taught in some colleges in the US and like countries – which have many immigrants from India, and likely to lesser extent in India – where I know there are friends of Andrew and Tara. Bangladesh I know nothing of, my impression is they don’t have the background that India has, so struggled after the split from West Pakistan, but are learning.

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