No Radi-Aid Awards in 2018


2017 was the fifth and final year with the Radi-Aid Awards.

In the last five years SAIH (The Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund) has seen that our work with the Radi-Aid project, aimed at breaking down stereotypes in aid communication, has influenced many actors within the humanitarian aid sector to think beyond stereotypical representations of poverty and famine. We’ve made organisations think twice about using celebrities playing the tired role of the «White Savior» in their aid communication, and we have contributed to a bigger public debate about these issues.

– During the last years it has been increasingly difficult to find candidates for the Rusty Radiator, SAIH president Beathe Øgård says of the award category aimed at the worst and most stereotypical charity ads.

– There are of course still many who use these tired tropes, but we witnessed an increase in nuanced, positive ads. We feel that we are now at a place where the awards have made themselves more redundant.

This does not mean that Radi-Aid is dead. After working with Radi-Aid for many years and being engaged in issues surrounded how western media and fundraising organisations depict our image of the «Global South» we have often talked about the people in the pictures. How do they feel about aid communication? What would they say about the representation of African countries?

This fall, we are launching a research project based on focus groups of aid recipients in a selection of countries in southern Africa. The goal is to find out how recipients of aid feel about the representation of African countries in international fundraising campaigns, such as Amnesty, CARE, UNICEF and Save the Children. What kind of issues would they highlight if they themselves were managing fundraising campaigns, and what kind of imagery would they use? We call this project «Radi-Aid Research».

The report will be launched on November 30th 2018.