I was in the process of writing a short response to NPR’s Goats & Soda invitation to comment on How Are Poor Countries Portrayed By Aid Groups And The Media? when I realized that this questions deserves a separate blog post. This is primarily because I disagree with the two tweets that started the discussion (and, yes, I am fully aware that they are ‘just’ tweets and were not indented as fully developed op-eds, research papers etc.).
In my first annual reflection on my development blogging engagement in 2011 I stated quite plainly: Development blogging has become part of narrative writing for those who work in, study or care about international aid. A year later, in 2012, Radi-Aid, One Laptop Per Child and musings about development being stuck ‘indoors’ appeared in my post; aid satire, techno-solutionism and challenges around conferences and meetings are still very much on today’s critical agenda as well. In 2013 I was quite enthusiastic about starting my communication for development position in Sweden as social media were anchored in my academic research and outreach. Issues of 2014, including poor NGO communication (Tony Blair winning a humanitarian award), voluntourism (Nick Kristof traveling abroad) and how new forms of philanthrocapitalism are influencing #globaldev almost seem like timeless classics now… In 2015 I was excited about new forms of humanitarian journalism (IRIN!), the fact that aid worker well-b…
We are reviewing some developments of 2017, add a few challenges that will be with us in the new year and sprinkle in some uplifting reflections, papers and stories to motivate us for another year of work, teaching and research on, with and around the aid industry!
Development news The 99 best things that happened in 2017 If you’re feeling despair about the fate of humanity in the 21st century, you might want to reconsider. In 2017, it felt like the global media picked up all of the problems, and none of the solutions. To fix that, here are 99 of the best stories from this year that you probably missed. Angus Hervey for Quartz with an interesting overview over many stories that are…
After the Economist’s piece on the (non-)value of doing a PhD and some comments later (e.g. Prometheus doesn't read the Economist (I like the slightly cynical dichotomy between ‘civilians’ and the ‘academic insiders) or the '100 Reasons NOT to Go to Graduate School' (they are only halfway through so check it out regularly in the future...) I had an interesting conversation with a prospective PhD student a few days ago.
This was not the first time that I had been approached about doing a PhD and I always try to be as frank as possible, even playing the ‘devil’s advocate’ when it comes to the complicated ‘should I or shouldn’t I?’ decision-making process. At the end of our conversation I sat down and tried to summarize a few important and generic points from the point of view of doing a PhD in Development Studies and in the UK.
I understand that every case is different and involves a range of motives, options and rationales, but there a few important questions and topics t…
This is a slightly shorter review this week, but it seems that many writers are still getting back to their desks after the holidays; this is also our examination week at our ComDev program, so my attention has been on reading students' works. Having said that, there's still some interesting food for thought and reading for the weekend!
Development news: Male biases & the history of development knowledge production; Ethiopia bans foreign adoptions; Police trouble in Haiti; the limits of Rwanda's development model; volunteering with a purpose; challenging times for African Think Tanks.
Our digital lives: 'Maids' and 'Madams' on facebook; new book on 'the beneficiary'; Oprah, the prophet of capitalism.
Academia: Reflections on running an anthropological MOOC; Germany takes on Elsevier.