Links & Contents I Liked 307

Hi all,

Happy New Year!

The 2019 blogging year is already in full swing and my first link review is not even attempting to 'catch up' with stuff from the holidays; I included a few interesting pieces from December for good measure, but essentially we are celebrating a new year!


New from aidnography

My development blogging year 2018 in review
I looked at the top blog posts and book reviews for 2018 and I think that they quite nicely represent some of the bigger debates the #globaldev community grappled with last year.
From Hollywood to Holy Wars (book review)
In the end, From Hollywood to Holy Wars (despite the slightly cheesy title…) delivers a well-balanced memoir in which Cherie Hart finds a really nice balance between critical reflection on her UN work without descending into snark and sharing an aid worker life with the right dose of work-life balance. Hopefully her easy-going book will inspire more women to write about their experiences ‘in development’ and add more n…

My development blogging year 2018 in review

I will keep my blogging review of 2018 a bit shorter than in previous years, e.g. 2017, 2016 or 2015.
That’s mainly because two of my blog posts this year already addressed broader questions of development blogging, writing and curating in more general terms:
So is development blogging dead then – and is it about shorter attention spans, the rise of videos or podcasts - or perhaps something about men?
I asked in The development blogging crisis (January 2018). And by-way of celebrating my 300th link review I reflected on My key learnings about #globaldev 20 years after I took my first undergrad course (November 2018).

I also looked at the top blog posts and book reviews for 2018 and I think that they quite nicely represent some of the bigger debates the #globaldev community grappled with last year.

My top 5 new blog posts in 2018
The Office meets global politics: New sitcom on life inside the United Nations (March 2018)
I caught up with the creators of The Mission Marie-Marguerite Sabong…

From Hollywood to Holy Wars (book review)

I want to kick off the new blogging year with a positive post and reading Cherie Hart’s biography From Hollywood to Holy Wars-Hounding Celebs, Dodging Bullets, Raising a Family Abroadover the holidays left me exactly with those good vibes.

As you have probably figured out by now, primarily because I keep mentioning it at the beginning of most of my book reviews, reading autobiographies written by aid workers is part of my research on how development is communicated through energing literary genres, including (non-)fiction works.

Cherie Hart’s reflections on her UNDP communications career from about the mid 1980s to about the early 2010s are a breeze of fresh air to my reading list that is dominated by retired male diplomats or UN staff who are usually quite serious about their serious UN business.
I really enjoyed getting to know Hart better as a journalist, communicator, UN bureaucrat, woman, wife, mother and expat aid worker as it is usually quite difficult to bring out these differ…

Links & Contents I Liked 306

Hi all,

I'm leaving some great readings here for the holidays.
Aidnography will take a short break and I'll be back with my #globaldev review of 2018 at the beginning of January!

Happy holidays!

New from aidnography

Don’t let agencies and influencers ru(i)n your development communication! A “quick fix” is not to work with “influencers” that have no sustainable connection to aid work, NGO campaigning & meaningful global engagement.
I can’t see any benefit coming from these engagements and generating a few tweets, Insta posts and signatures to an online petition are some kind of development communication plastic engagement that will only pollute an ocean of mediatized engagement and get an innocent sea turtle entangled in your web of single-use campaign fast food waste.
I would also urge organizations to be more careful, perhaps even conservative in their approaches of working with agencies.
At the end of the day development communication is neither a new product nor are some of…

Don’t let agencies and influencers ru(i)n your development communication!

I didn’t want to end my 2018 blogging year with another critical post, but the two recent development communication fails from the Netherlands seem to warrant a response.

Excellent coverage by @rebeccarat on #NGOSafeSpace critique of @amnestynl now cancelled refugee campaign, and @MSF pulled campaign. Here's to 2019 @shaistaAziz — Alexia Pepper de Caires (@je_ne_tweet_pas) December 20, 2018 I recently wrote about ICRC’s communication fail with a travel blogger in Papua New Guinea (which he has now deleted without comment) and also remembered Oxfam’s “The Heist No One Is Talking About” video from late 2017 that was also quickly criticized.

I totally understand that most aspects of NGO work are professionalized these days and that it’s tempting to try out innovative and/or provocative formats. It’s also increasingly difficult in polarized media systems to get traditional advocacy and fundraising campaigns heard.

As the CEO of A&O Hotel confirmed in a recen…

Links & Contents I Liked 305

Hi all,

We are moving closer to a short, but well-deserved break (next week's review will be the last for 2018), but in the meantime, there's some interesting, eyebrow-raising, thought-provoking and inspiring reading around #globaldev!


Development news
Sweden freezes support to UNAIDS until leader removed
Sweden said Wednesday it was freezing its support to UNAIDS until its executive director is removed, after an expert report blasted the agency's leadership for systematically failing to address bullying, abuse and sexual harassment.
The Swedish government has no confidence in Michel Sidibe to lead the organisation, a spokesman for the ministry for international development cooperation told AFP, confirming reports in local media.
"We have no confidence in him. He has to resign now," International Development Cooperation Minister Isabella Lovin told daily Svenska Dagbladet, adding "I've even told him so personally".
That's the AFP on Wednesday.