Blaming the victim(s)? Is it the aid industry’s fault when places are labeled ‘holes’?

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.).

So I blame Malaka Gharib for this post ;)

Sheesh! it's been a busy week for #globaldev Twitter. We're asking @NPR's audience to share their thoughts on points made by @owenbarder@DinaPomeranz: Does the way that we talk about poor countries feed into the idea that they’re “hellholes” or worse? — Malaka Gharib (@MalakaGharib) January 12, 2018Owen Barder started the discussion:

Aid workers, NGOs and aid agencies: if you paint developing countries as potential sources of terrorism, disease and unwanted migration to justify…

Links & Contents I Liked 265

Hi all,

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.


New from aidnography

My development blogging & communication review 2017
A classic blog post since 2011!

Development news
The Perils of Male Bias: Al…

Links & Contents I Liked 264

Hi all,

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the first link review of 2018!

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!


New from aidnography

My development blogging & communication review 2017
Since 2011 I have shared an annual wrap-up of blogging

Third World Quarterly & the case for colonialism debate
This debate has now arrived in the UK...

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…

My development blogging & communication review 2017

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…

Links & Contents I Liked 263

Hi all,

Welcome to one of the final link reviews of 2017!

It's an interesting mix this week featuring public lectures, (visual) communication of development & #MeToo reflections in academia.

Development news: Rise in global arms sales; private companies spying on activists; Jeremy Corbyn speaks at the UN on global governance; UNHCR's Melissa Fleming speaks about home & refugees; how to 'empower women'? How to engage cynical audiences in #globaldev? How to ensure ethical photography? How to write better about social issues; new podcast series from India.

Publications: Local aid workers & digital marginalization; doing development differently.

Academia: #MeToo; what is the purpose of societies & associations?


New from aidnography

Third World Quarterly & the case for colonialism debate
This is a curated and regularly updated overview over the events that followed after the publication of Bruce Gilley's article The Case for Colonialism in the journa…