As the #Aidtoo movement continues to unfold, some in the community are remarking on the speed and ferocity with which the public mood has turned against aid. Wondering how much of the outcry was opportunistic or downright malicious, they have met criticism with defensive cheerleading. It is an all too familiar pattern for our industry, rooted in a siege mentality. A mentality that is easy to understand and relate to, but that may no longer be a viable strategy for protecting our sector.

It is almost too easy to attack the aid industry.

As the #Aidtoo moment demonstrates, skeptics will always be ready to jump at an opportunity to bash charities and agencies. Those opportunities will only become more frequent as time goes by, because the world of traditional development assistance is getting smaller and more complex. Philanthropists and foundations are investing in smart fixes to humanity's basic problems. South-South cooperation is injecting billions into capital-intensive infrastructure. And an increasing number of developing country governments are accessing private markets to supplement their budgets.

We need to craft a new discourse around aid that makes taxpayers proud of what they fund, and that is honest with them about the enormity of the task, but also about the intrinsic moral value of the payoffs. We should make room in our narratives for the real protagonists of development: not us, but developing-country reformers, advocates, public servants, entrepreneurs, people who push for change over the long term, and for whom we are but temporary allies.

Read the full article on aid sector siege mentality after #AidToo by Pablo Yanguas at Devex International Development