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The Radi-Aid Awards are Back Again to Skewer and Praise the Aid Community!

The international aid community, for all its good intentions, can sometimes be tone-deaf and culturally insensitive. From afar, this tendency is easy to mock, but on the ground, it has negative consequences.

The Radi-Aid awards tries to tackle this dilemma head-on. It’s an annual event created by the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH) to highlight the best and worst charity ads of the year, which use excessive propaganda and false advertising, as well as to celebrate ads crafted in effective, respectful ways. There are two awards within the Radi-Aid Awards The Rusty Radiator Award , given to outdated and stereotypical ads, and the Golden Radiator Award , for the most innovative ads. 

Read More: Africa Is Saving Norway One Radiator at a Time

The goal of the Radi-Aid Awards is, "to change the way fundraising campaigns communicate and engage people in the issues of poverty and development” and to combat the stereotypes that dominate discussions of poverty.  

Without further adieu here are this year's Radi-Awards. 

The Rusty Radiator Awards


In first place is, Save The Children Netherlands. The judges claimed the video to be "the epitome of poverty pornography.”

Read More: Global Citizen Just Came Together to Make India a Better Place

World Vision Australia - A sponsored child’s dream, takes second place. The video fails because it portrays children as “passive, helpless victims” according to judges of the Rusty Radiator Award. 

Reinforcing the “white savior complex,” Compassion International - Sponsor a Child, takes third place.

Read More: Laugh for a Cause, 9 Campaigns That Worked

The Golden Radiator Awards

As for the best in fundraising campaign videos? These are this year's must watch charity ads according to judges. 

Plan International Campaign UK came in first place for highlighting a worldwide problem, while still recognizing the gap between the real world, and the idealized world.

Second place goes to Amnesty Poland’s “ Look Beyond Borders ” because of the impressive narrative that aims to change the way we see and hear refugee reporting.

A video by The International HIV and Aids Alliance, “A Positive Life,” breaks down prejudices and stereotypes against HIV, earning it the third place spot.

These awards may poke fun at some of the aid community but they also act as a reminder for non-profits to strive to use integrity, and ingenuity when spreading awareness. 


The views expressed here are not necessarily those of each of the partners of Global Citizen.