• Loading

Meet David McNair, Christian Aid's senior economic justice adviser

By David McNair | 6 July 2010

My job involves doing research on the impact of tax policies on developing countries, lobbying those with the power to change things - and helping others to do the same.

David McNairThe idea is that I learn from our partner organisations about what is happening on the ground.

And at the same time, I help them to understand how they can advocate to their governments - to ensure that the poor are considered when governments are developing legislation on tax.

I also take those experiences and talk to policy makers and business officials about how they can help developing countries to raise money in a fair and transparent way.

That sometimes involves going to the UN in New York, the EU in Brussels, or the OECD in Paris.

I became involved in campaigning after I went on a trip to India, when I was 19.

Seeing the inequality there had a profound effect on me - I felt quite angry and really wanted to do something to change things - and I understood then that throwing money at the problem (no matter how much) wouldn't help.

So when I came back I got involved with Christian Aid's work as a volunteer – campaigning to challenge the structural causes of poverty. Seven years later I applied for my dream job at Christian Aid and amazingly, got it!

Since then, I have visited some really interesting countries with Christian Aid.

Because of the nature of my job, most of my travel is to places like Brussels and Paris, but I have also been to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Kenya.

On these trips I have been humbled by the professionalism and resourcefulness of Christian Aid partners, and inspired by their courage. Christian Aid trips are always exhausting and always a learning experience!

In the long term, I want to see developing countries equipped to raise money to invest in essential services, governments that are more accountable to their citizens and businesses that pay a fair amount of tax and are accountable for doing so.

In March of this year, I attended a meeting of partners with a senior official in the ministry of Finance in Kenya. When we explained what we are trying to do on tax issues, he said this: "This is an agenda which has the potential to transform this continent."

The task is huge but I believe we are on the right path.

Reverend Jesse Jackson holding a Christian Aid 'Power to the poor' placard

Video from our supporter day

Relive it now!

 About the author

David McNair

David McNair is our senior economic justice adviser