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Showing posts from August, 2012

Links & Contents I Liked 40

Hello all,

As some of the more political science-minded among you have probably noticed, this week's annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA) got cancelled. I wasn't planning to attend in the first place (The Monkey Cage had an interesting discussion about the whole cancel-not cancel/ attend-not attend scenario), but I took the opportunity and suggested a virtual panel via a Google HangOut and it looks like this will be happening tomorrow, Friday 31 August from 12 noon to 1p.m. EST (drop me a line if you are interested to join but I will also tweet details). The original panel 'Issues of and Responses to Internet Governance' will likely be reduced to two nonetheless interesting presentations: JP Singh (Georgetown University) will present 'Representing Power: Participation and Deliberation in ICT4D Projects and Internet Governance' and Daniel Esser (American University) will present a paper he and I co-wrote together: 'Do Social Med…

Links & Contents I Liked 39

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Hello all,

This week's links feature three highlights: First, do watch Daniela Papi's TED-talk on voluntourism and service learning! Second, have a look at Jennifer Lentfer's interview questions for aid organisations (and why they are great but may not lead to employment...) and third, have another look at this week's education debate on the paradoxes of studying, teaching and working inside and outside academia with a PhD.

And if you happen to have a book recommendation on 'development' books that would be great, too!
Enjoy!

New on aidnography
More development (fiction) tales
After my review of Disastrous Passion I received a few messages regarding recommendations of books that portray development in a similar way-fictionalised, but not 'invented' stories. I didn't want to think too long and 7 books came to my mind that are in some ways similar to Disastrous Passion even if they are not 'development fiction' in the narrow sense.
Some of them …

More development (fiction) tales

After my review of  Disastrous Passion I received a few messages regarding recommendations of books that portray development in a similar way-fictionalised, but not 'invented' stories. I didn't want to think too long and 7 books came to my mind that are in some ways similar to Disastrous Passion even if they are not 'development fiction' in the narrow sense. Some of them are fictionalised accounts of real events, one is purely fictional, but there are also titles that are not fictional and present 'development' in different first-hand accounts, giving you some ideas about the range of writing-styles that academics and practitioners have employed between 1959 and today.

In short, my list is subjective, eclectic and incomplete, but the following seven titles are definitely not your average (academic) text books on 'development' and they highlight the possibilities of writing about development in engaging and different ways that are still readable and e…

Links & Contents I Liked 38

Hello all, 

This week's focus is on some great pieces on 'civil society', NGOs and the challenges of philanthropy. You can also enjoy my comment on Duncan Green's latest post on a 'annoying paper' from the perspective of an academic writer. Plus, an interesting piece of Timor-Leste's changing 'fragility' and three pieces on (mis)education, plagiarism and no-show classes for college sports student.

Enjoy!

Development
What can we learn from a really annoying paper on NGOs and development?
I’ve got a paper I want you to read, particularly if you work for an NGO or other lobbying outfit. Not because it’s good – far from it – but because reading it and (if you work for an NGO) observing your rising tide of irritation will really help you understand how those working in the private sector, government or the multilateral system feel when they read a generalized and ill-informed NGO attack on their work. Duncan Green's post is a great start to kick-off this …

Links & Contents I Liked 37

Hello all,

Although this week features not as many links as last week (probably because it's the first full week of summer-holiday-August?) there's still a nice selection of good stuff: The photo essay from inside the Nigerian oil industry (although originally from 2010) is worth (re)sharing, the visualisation of GlobalGiving's project document language and for anthropological method geeks enthusiasts there's a brilliant essay on the ethnographic study of Wikipedia sources as well.

So enjoy a quick reading break from your summer vacations!

New on aidnography
Disastrous Passion-a humanitarian romance novel (Book review)
Well-known for his aid blogging and setting up the Aid Source community, J. from Tales from the Hood also worked on his first aid romance novel. Now, for the first time the complete ebook has been published and I really enjoyed it as a perfect summer read: It’s easy enough for a hot afternoon on the porch, but there are some serious, interesting and even thou…

Disastrous Passion-a humanitarian romance novel (Book review)

Every summer needs (reading) superlatives and this summer’s global development fiction pick is clearly Disastrous Passion – a humanitarian romance novel.
Well-known for his aid blogging and setting up the Aid Source community, J. from Tales from the Hood also worked on his first aid romance novel. Now, for the first time the complete ebook has been published and I really enjoyed it as a perfect summer read: It’s easy enough for a hot afternoon on the porch, but there are some serious, interesting and even thought-provoking nuggets of aid wisdom in the novel that should take it to the level of undergraduate reading lists (a real compliment ;)!).
As I have confessed in previous reviews on first-hand accounts of aid work in Afghanistan and Iraq, I am a big fan of this genre. J’s fictionalised account from Haiti links it to the growing body of ‘development fiction’ that has recently grabbed academic attention.

In some ways, the book seems partly an ‘update’ of ‘Emergency Sex and Other De…

Links & Contents I Liked 36

Hello all,
This week's collection of links is a bit more annotated than usual, but I felt that the Guardian's article on the Kibera settlement, an interesting post on the chances and limitations of academic migration studies, DfID's announcement about open access and a great post from 'onthinktanks' on the power of labels and frameworks deserved some additional reflections ;)! And while most of the attention was on India's power outage this week, there's a really insightful piece on the disappearing water of Delhi and good comment on Nepal and the current state of social science that shouldn't be missed!

Enjoy!

Development
The disappearing water of Delhi. More serious than you think
If a city has no sense of its river, imagine the ease with which it has ruined its natural water bodies, old step wells, man-made lakes, each time evoking the fallacious argument of development. Shamsi Talab, once a water reservoir, is hemmed in by growing construction around it.…