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My development blogging 2011 review

This year has been my first full year of blogging. And as the year is coming to an end I am sitting down to reflect upon a few…well, what am I really reflecting on?! I guess I will write about observations and personal learning and avoid anything that has to do with ‘trends’. I really do not like the kind of forecasting that many ‘experts’ do to use the current situation to speculate on future developments along the lines of ‘what we are seeing at the moment will become bigger/faster/more important in 2012’. The development blogging year of 2012 will most likely be similar to 2011-or 2010.
However, there are a few themes and issues that appeared throughout the year and that deserve to be included in my reflections as they most likely will stick around for a while and will pose interesting questions in the future. I will also try to stick to the topics I know best – blogging at the interface of anthropology and development research with a primarily academic hat on.
This is not going to…

Links & Content I liked 05

This is going to be the last Links & Content for this year...but there will be a final post early next week where I make a humble attempt to review the development blogging year 2011!

As always: Enjoy! Share! Comment! Please...

Development 
David's Perspective: If you aren't failing, are you really trying?EWB applies a 'searcher' approach - every employee, program and team researches a problem, identifies potential ways to address the problem and tests the approach on a small scale to see if it works. If it doesn't work, EWB tries a different approach. If it does work, it's refined and scaled up. EWB knows failures are necessary on the path to a solution, and the entire organization is set up to recognize those failures quickly, then adapt and improve. I can't begin to tell you how different this is from the average development organization, and it's only the beginning. EWB publishes yearly failure reports, sharing mistakes made across the organization…

Links & Content I liked 04

Enjoy! Share! Comment! Please...
New on aidnography
Wordle word cloud Busan Partnership for Effective Development CooperationIn addition to playing around with Wordle and creating nice clouds for every part of the official Busan document, I also counted words and based on this count this is the ultimate summary of Busan based on keywords and their occurence: 
Development co-operation [with] our developing countries [in the] south [includes] efforts [and] commitments [for] effective aid support actors. Global [and] international sustainable effectiveness strengthen level[s] of implementation. [In the] end, public accountability [to] implement goals [and] principles [in a] respective partnership [comprises] new national, private policies [and] systems [for an] agenda [to] improve state progress. Busan actions [will ensure] inclusive development co-operation.
development (134), Co-operation (66), our (58), countries (39), developing (37), efforts (34), south (31), commitments (25), country (…

Wordle word cloud Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation

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Just a quick Wordle cloud on the official 'outcome' document from the Busan summit...so many 'plastic words' of the aid effectiveness discourse that deserve a second, closer look and more analysis...

Update: Because it looked like fun and also because a break-down into different sections could be interesting, I decided to create separate word clouds for every headline/part of the document. Note that the different sections differ considerably in length and that I have not used any other filters or tools other than copy-pasting the contents of the official Busan document into Wordle.


Introduction [paragraphs 1-10; ca. 975 words]
Shared principles to achieve common goals
[paragraphs 11-13; ca. 440 words]
Realising change:
Complementary actions to reach common goals
Inclusion of new actors on the basis of shared principles and differential commitments
[paragraph 14; ca. 201 words]
Improving the quality and effectiveness of development
co‐operation [paragraph 15-17; ca. 215 words]

Links & Content I liked 03

As most of us, I come across interesting things/links/posts/articles/research throughout the week and realised that I cannot write an individual post for all of them (yes, it took me a year of blogging to realise this ;)). My own blogging has been a bit slow these past weeks, but there's a bunch of books reviews and other things in the pipeline that I will get out into the world before the holidays.
Enjoy! Share! Comment! Please...
Development

Learning on the job with Shakarbek Niyatbekov
As with many things knowledge management starts with ourselves. Today’s interviewee Shakarbek Niyatbekov talks about his personal strategies, about knowledge sources and networks supporting him in daily work. He is working at the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) in Tajikistan since 2005. He started as a project manager at the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) of the SCO in Tajikistan. Later on after integration of the PIU into the main office he continued his work as National Program Officer respons…

Links & Content I liked 02

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As most of us, I come across interesting things/links/posts/articles/research throughout the week and realised that I cannot write an individual post for all of them (yes, it took me a year of blogging to realise this ;)).
To go with the theme of my blog I will try to divide links into three main, pretty self-explanatory categories that may overlap sometimes, of course: Development, anthropology and academia.
I will also try to add a brief synopsis rather than just 'dumping' the links.
Enjoy! Share! Comment! Please...
Development
Richard Mosse 'Pink Congo'


For centuries, the Congo has compelled and defied the Western imagination. Richard Mosse brings to this subject the use of a discontinued military surveillance technology, a type of color infrared film called Kodak Aerochrome. Originally developed for camouflage detection, this aerial reconnaissance film registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light, rendering the green landscape in vivid hues of lavender, crimson, a…

Links & Content I liked 01

As most of us, I come across interesting things/links/posts/articles/research throughout the week and realised that I cannot write an individual post for all of them (yes, it took me a year of blogging to realise this ;)).
To go with the theme of my blog I will try to divide links into three main, pretty self-explanatory categories that may overlap sometimes, of course: Development, anthropology and academia.
I will also try to add a brief synopsis rather than just 'dumping' the links.
Enjoy! Share! Comment! Please...
New on aidnography
Swords to plougshares 2.0-Crocheting for peace & development in Uganda
The chances and challenges of the 'hip' DIYdevelopment enterprise KrochetKids.org

'from accountant to animal savior'-blog analytics and the power of Google
Did you ever wonder how readers ended up on your blog and what they typed into Google to get there?
Development
So, you’re thinking of studying an MA in Development Studies? Think again.
Great latest addition …

Swords to plougshares 2.0-Crocheting for peace & development in Uganda

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We are pioneering a movement to make humanitarian aid completely and definitively obsolete. Through a unique model we are empowering the women of Northern Uganda with the assets, skills, and knowledge to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. With this investment into true empowerment we are breaking the cycle of poverty and dependence on outside humanitarian aid. The result is long lasting and sustainable change. Even though I share Bored in Post-Conflict's initial astonishment about Krochet Kids International ('buy a hat. change a life'), I am still not entirely convinced about this project after giving it some more thought. After all, this is not The Onion or CollegeHumour it is the inititiave to make all humanitarian aid obsolete and probably end all wars, too. 

Although they seem to operate since 2007, there is still no board of advisors on their website and it would be important to learn more about the...well, it is kind of tricky to find out what this…

'from accountant to animal savior'-blog analytics and the power of Google

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At the moment I have three very interesting books on my desk that are subject to proper reviews: