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Showing posts from July, 2012

Links & Contents I Liked 35

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Hello all,

Tony Blair, Oprah, Thomas Friedman-this week's link review turned out to be a bit of a 'celebrity issue' and as often, I don't mean it in a good way...but there are also some interesting critical nuggets on the power of failing, on what makes a good NGO and one of the downsides of collecting lots of data with little context...and there's even more on ethnographic pedagogy and predicting conflict using WikiLeaks material!

Enjoy!

New on aidnography
Tony Blair, Olympic impact & development jargon from the 80s
If you read the full GUARDIAN piece and basically replace 'Olympics' with, say, Millennium Villages, you would be criticised left, right and centre, because Blair uses a jargon that partly seems to be straight out of a World Bank infrastructure project document of the mid-1980s. His ramblings also show what a huge and sometimes ridiculous amount of pressure is put on today's development work to demonstrate (short-term) impact and how it is …

Tony Blair, Olympic impact & development jargon from the 80s

Next time someone in your family, workplace or community questions development or has a really, really critical question about the aid industry do NOT point them in the direction of plastic-worded Tony Blair. Because as Tony Blair demonstrated in his ramblings on the long-term benefits of the Olympic Games (Tony Blair tells London 2012 critics to show 'a bit of pride'), all this talk about 'impact', 'evidence-based policy', 'sustainability' and how to spend the precious money of the taxpayer does not seem to matter when it comes to grand projects like the London Olympics. If you read the full GUARDIAN piece and basically replace 'Olympics' with, say, Millennium Villages, you would be criticised left, right and centre, because Blair uses a jargon that partly seems to be straight out of a World Bank infrastructure project document of the mid-1980s. His ramblings also show what a huge and sometimes ridiculous amount of pressure is put on today'…

Links & Contents I Liked 34

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Hello all!

From the reflective to the ironic, from the 'creative destruction of the aid industry' to the 'momentum of the blogosphere', plus quite a few new papers worth checking out-this week's link round-up got it all!
Enjoy!

New on aidnography
Is there are space for Google+ Hangouts in global development?
Now includes first responses, including an interesting example of how WFP used a Hangout to discuss the Sahel hunger crises
Development
From 1987-1990, MARLEX was the exclusive Licensor of this Humanitarian Organisation (MSF) and launched a licensing program with a complete line of toys and action dolls, and a family board-game.


In a word: WOW! There really was a set of toys sold in France to set up your own MSF health clinic-only complete with white doctors and Africans on crutches and stretchers!

Voluntourism: We Have to Stop Making This About Your Niece
I spent a lot of time that year wondering if I had unintentionally exploited the children I'd traveled so far…

Is there are space for Google+ Hangouts in global development?

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To be honest with you, I am still at a bit of loss when it comes to Google+ - especially in the context of international development communication, teaching etc. I am not an active member of Google+ so there may be a chance that I am missing out on a bunch of interesting discussions. But what I found quite interesting is that I have not come across any posts and videos that engage with Google+ Hangouts in the context of development (if there are examples, please send me links or comment below to put me out of my ignorance). The official Hangout videos on Google's YouTube channel have only received modest hits so far, e.g. this short introduction:

I do realise that cupcake baking looks more fun and is more active and interactive than, say, talking about land grabbing in Africa, but Google+ also promotes a more 'chatty' use of hangouts, e.g. during the upcoming Olympic Games: Googles Hangout feature is once again giving Google+ users a chance to get closer to the stars, this t…

Links & Contents I Liked 33

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Hello all!

Great week for lots of interesting material! Make sure you have a glimpse at the articles from and about Nepal and scroll down all to the end for some critical reflections on higher education, upcoming challenges on how Obama is linked to the 'Death by degrees'! There are also two new posts by yours truly and additional stuff on UN and its link to private security firms and the philosophy of aid blogging explained in neat charts by Aaron Ausland!

Enjoy!

New on aidnography
The Global Right Wing and the Clash of World Politics (Book review)
Clifford Bob’s ‘The Global Right Wing and the Clash of World Politics’ is a well-researched, accessible introduction to the complex topic of how global civil society and governance are no longer the exclusive domain of left-leaning and progressive organisations. By looking at contested policy themes such as gay marriage or international and national gun control/access, Bob outlines an important new arena for research on international po…

How useful is the ‘Transparency in Corporate Reporting’ ranking for development debates?

The Global Right Wing and the Clash of World Politics (Book review)

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Interesting coincidence that I stumbled upon Tom Murphy's post 'The NRA has no clue about the UN' on how an NRA spokesperson ‘discusses’ the UN treaty on fire arms while reading Clifford Bob's latest book. In the end, it boiled down to the well-rehearsed argument from the political right that an unaccountable UN may be able one day to take away fire arms from law-abiding Americans citizens. Besides some good, old-fashioned fear-mongering it exposes a key component of right wing lobbying in international affairs: Plant a seed of doubt and see it growing in public policy debates.

Once you start digging deeper into the debates of global governance and right wing civil society political interference you probably end up at a point where you ask yourself ‘Why hasn’t anybody written a book about this yet?!’ The good news is: Clifford Bob’s ‘The Global Right Wing and the Clash of World Politics’ is a well-researched, accessible introduction to the complex topic of how global ci…