In response to Duncan Green: My 9 development trends and their implications for tomorrow’s aid jobs

Duncan Green just proposed 9 trends and their impact on employment in the aid industry-particularly for fresh graduates or those freshly entering the sector.
As a critical reader and friend of his blog I think that Duncan has done a great job outlining his 9 trends and starting this important discussion. But that he did not get everything right and in fact overlooked a few important trends as I am going to argue in my response.

So without further delay, here are my 9 trends and their implications for how to enter the sector and find meaningful engagement and employment.
Each of my points actually deserves their own post-which maybe a project for the autumn…And while I believe these are emerging trends I also don’t judge them as simply ‘good’ or ‘bad’, hence the academic in me wants to add more nuances.

1. There are no trends: A lot of things will remain the same
Generally speaking, I don’t like the word ‘trend’ and I genuinely believe that over the next 2-5 years many parameters wil…

Links & Contents I Liked 286

Hi all,

Welcome to this Friday's review!
So many great, interesting, powerful & enraging stories from & about women which hopefully indicate the lasting impact of #AidToo!

Development news: Special section on black women sharing their experiences in the aid industry; the EU's military-industrial-border complex; Education, electricity & tax is what Africa needs; doctor drain in Nigeria; stories of UNICEF innovation; new humor & satire in Africa; TedX meets the refugee camp; special section on volunteering/tourism/connecting.

Our digital lives: Topless protest in Iceland; respect & awful meetings; social change tipping points; the place most CVs go to die...

Academia: Landmark study on sexual harassment in US academia; decolonization in IR; an anthropological publishing project implodes.


New from aidnography

Does Malcolm Gladwell want rural Indian women to buy Chevys? A few reflections on DevEx World
As much as moving away from the ‘beneficiary’ logic is a t…

Does Malcolm Gladwell want rural Indian women to buy Chevys? A few reflections on DevEx World

In 2014 I shared some reflections on DevEx’s career forum (The future of expats in a globalized development industry).

This week I followed DevEx World social media coverage and Michael Igoe’s summary really sparked my urge to share a few reflections.

The positive potential of the private sector, the power of innovative, data-driven initiatives as well as a discursive change in moving from ‘beneficiaries’ to ‘consumers’ featured quite heavily.
Given DevEx’s focus on the aid industry, a range of sponsors, including Cargill, Pfizer, Chemonics and the Exxon Mobil Foundation, that may deserve more critical discussion and its embeddedness in the DC political development circles this may not be entirely surprising.

Healthy, empowered consumers through data science innovations
It does not take long before ‘behavioral psychologists, data scientists, and machine learning experts’ appear in Igoe’s summary post.

I found it quite fascinating that of all automotive metaphors Malcolm Gladwell could…

Links & Contents I Liked 285

Hi all,

We are in the process of examining 20+ MA projects at the moment-so without much of an introduction enjoy this week's link review from sunny Sweden!

Development news: Was the answer to #OxfamScandal out of proportion? Worsening situation in Central African Republic; do the SDGs undermine democracy? Poverty porn-Ellen DeGeneres edition; ICT4D bullshit Bingo-Accenture edition; learning from slum dwellers in Ghana; ultra-rich kids in Nigeria; Uganda through the lens of a young photographer; failed missionaries; new books.

Our digital lives: YouTube producers burning out; healthy travel should be an employer's concern, too.


New from aidnography
A Destiny in the Making (book review)
I really enjoyed reading Mohr’s memoir precisely because of his insights into regular UNICEF work that keeps the organization going. Partly because of his extensive diary keeping he manages to go back to small details and daily routines within the bigger picture of UNICEF under Jim Grant…

A Destiny in the Making (book review)

Even if you are only a semi-regular visitor or reader of Aidnography you have probably noticed at some point that reading and reviewing aid worker memoirs or biographies is one of my pet projects.
One of my small luxuries of being a full-time employee at a Swedish university is that I have time and space to follow this fairly impact-free small research project.
Writing about careers inside the UN system is a particularly fruitful sub-genre. Boudewijn Mohr’s A Destiny in the making: From Wall Street to UNICEF in Africafeatures some of the core ingredients of a good memoir as a mid-level manager reflects on almost three decades of UNICEF work starting in 1985. Mohr’s unique contribution to the genre lies in the fact that he was neither a senior executive of the organization nor did he work in particularly dangerous environments-being the country representative for Sao Tome & Principe has never been exactly a hardship post.
But Mohr’s reflections, as mundane as they sometimes must se…

Links & Contents I Liked 284

Hi all,

This week's review has a strong humanitarian focus and lots of great people & initiatives are sharing new work! But there are also donkeys, fancy data visualizations & snarky tweets!

Development news: UNHRC corruption in Sudan; Burundi not happy about donkeys; inside the Central African Republic; ODI, CGD, HHI on the future of the humanitarian enterprise; inside Save The Children UK; rescuing 'safeguarding' from becoming a buzzword; a mass facial recognition project for Zimbabwe; randomistas to the rescue! How to conference better.

Our digital lives: Taking down philanthrocapitalists & neoliberal feminism; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's fame.

Academia: Medical education under fire; social media & harassment & more!


Development news
Since the publication of my investigation into corruption in UNHCR Sudan on May 15, I've been contacted by numerous other refugees, as well as current & former UN staff, all backing it up. Really hoping thing…