Branding Aid – Helpful or Harmful?

A Palestinian woman and her children receive supplies from the International Committee of the Red Cross at a refugee camp in Gaza; a UNICEF tent at a refugee camp in Iraq; a latrine project in Haiti financed by Oxfam. (Source:

Aid groups have long placed their logo on donated goods, hoping to build goodwill with aid recipients and potential donors. These efforts are largely successful, but there are drawbacks.

Some argue those logos could be demeaning, serving as a constant reminder of recipient status. The recognition of a government’s role in aid and recovery efforts can be diminished by organization’s branding and signage. And logos can also identify aid workers in dangerous settings, making them vulnerable to attacks. NPR has more on the topic here.