I recently shared an article by Milli Lake and Sarah E. Parkinson on political scientists ‘out-dangering’ one another in their field research in fragile states. The ‘exotic’ site of the past has turned into a ‘volatile’ one where presumably a lot of publishable and communicable ‘action’ will happen. The authors warn us academics to ‘take the practical and ethical components of (fieldwork) planning and implementation more seriously’.
Only this week did I learn about ‘combat charities’ thanks to a short CNN video that apparently shows the Free Burma Army fighting in Mosul and an article in the Washington Post on the family behind one of its leaders who had moved to Mosul (‘It was just an average day for the Eubanks, who describe their work as a calling from God’).
In some ways, the two stories are connected and I wonder whether some radical humanitarians ‘out-danger’ one another and the international development and humanitarian community paying the price for more blurred boundaries.Pavo…
We are currently examining and discussing about 20 excellent MA thesis projects which is always a great way to wrap up the teaching term! I wish I had a bit more time for blogging these days, but at least there are some great readings to explore this Friday!
Development news: Is the World Bank in trouble? Collecting data in India; Humanitarians at the WEF; Sri Lankan peacekeeping scandal; new film on the ‘madness’ of war in Sri Lanka; bad health clinics hurt developing countries; would Haiti be better off without aid? A rare insight into Eritrea’s political leadership; Timorese migrant workers in Northern Ireland; Digital India is no place for women; the world’s most watched soap; the boy & the starfish-a tale about #globaldev; alternatives to growth; the pdf graveyard; long-read on photography & conflict; the privatization of US armed forces; Bono visits an old pal.
Our digital lives: Creating a ‘social enterprise’-it’s complicated; precarity as freedom in Japan.
I'm at a workshop about communication for development in the context of Germany today hosted by the University of Leipzig. There should be plenty of material for a blog post next week!
In the meantime, enjoy your weekly link digest with plenty of interesting readings for the weekend!
Development news: New challenges for UN peacekeeping; Louise Linton marries; key trends in humanitarian funding; British Red Cross received a lot of useless 'stuff'; Colombia's gold rush revisited; tax avoidance & illicit flows; UN struggles with open data-one pdf at the time; even the Guardian falls into white savior trap; Helen Clark hit the glass ceiling; the limits (and opportunities) of 'small is beautiful'; a long read on Bridge academies; spatial analysis in Madagascar; the impact of edutainment; the geography of humanitarian knowledge; the future of evaluation; photographing Afghanistan; remembering a priest from Nicaragua.
I read Platforming - what can NGOs learn from AirBnB and Amazon?by Paula Gil Baizan, World Vision’s Global Humanitarian Director for cash based programs with interest-but also some astonishment. I disagree with a lot of her arguments and the general sense that (I)NGOs and other humanitarian actors should turn into entities similar to the giants of platform capitalism.
First and foremost, I find it quite astonishing that a senior manager of an INGO does not even hint at the hidden cost, exploitation and side effects that platform capitalism comes with. It is a bit more complicated than ‘Amazon and AirB’n’B are good with data’. From the, shall we say diplomatically, difficult conditions in Amazon’s warehouses and its broader corporate culture to the bigger issue of precarious employment (e.g. Deliveroo in the UK) or the challenges AirB’n’B is increasingly posing on urban rental markets and related service industries (e.g. in New York, Barcelona or Berlin), a picture emerges that many vu…