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Showing posts from January, 2013

Links & Contents I Liked 61

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Hello all,

One of the things I like about my weekly link review is that's it's always a bit unpredictable. So this week's list is much more eclectic and there isn't really a 'theme', well, that's not entirely true I guess. There are some interesting links 'working in development', e.g. getting 'hands-on' experience or the power of internal organizational referrals. There are also some interesting links dealing with the changing nature of academic reputation building, including Academia.edu's story and a new software to assess you 'impact' differently. But there are also many more interesting stories. Do check out Durham University's 'Writing on Writing' archive featuring short contributions from established social scientists on the nature of, well, writing in academia; and in case you are still stuck in a meeting, why not try out the 'DevCliche' bingo...and just as I was wrapping up the review Ed Carr posted a …

Links & Contents I Liked 60

Hello all,

It's always neat when the weekly link collection ends up with some kind of theme or thread guiding my collecting and commenting and hopefully your reading, too...I guess this week is all about some of the great (new) ways a diverse range of women are contributing to what it means to be professionally involved in 'development'. Rosalind Eyben contributes to the evidence and impact debate that is taking place at Duncan Smith's blog; Mary B. Anderson's new project on 'Time to Listen' is included, so is Alanna Shaikh's post on the current state and hopefully better future of aid coordination. Marianne 'Zen peacekeeper' Elliott talks about yoga, well-being and the power of narratives whereas Janine di Giovanni reflects on being a frontline war reporter.
Last not least, Leila Janah shares some insights of managing a successful social enterprise-and why being 'the woman' on a conference panel may actually be a good thing...and there i…

How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster (book review)

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Jonathan Katz’ book The Big Truck That Went By. How The World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disasterhas already received a lot of recognition and positive endorsement and I do agree that his book is an excellent expose of contemporary global humanitarian and development efforts and key systemic flaws.
As a former AP correspondent he lived through the 2010 Haiti earthquake and followed closely the reconstruction efforts machinery that quickly set into motion for one of the world largest aid efforts.

You may have seen the advertising banners on Palgrave’s website (‘Where Did YOUR donation go?’)which I find a bit misleading for the sake of marketing the book to a broader audience.
But this is not the author’s fault, of course, but the story does not really follow ‘your donation’ and it captures the complex nature of post-disaster aid better than simply ‘exposing the failure of foreign aid’ – which the book still manages well.

To give my review a better focus, I will highlight thre…

Links & Contents I Liked 59

Hello all,

It's one of those weeks where basically all of my favorite topics are featured in the weekly link review in one way or another: The value of anthropologists in a great piece on Mali; the chances and challenges of 'open development' in my own post and in an excellent review on technology & transparency; academic research on aid blogging and a more substantial part on storytelling, participatory video, communicating aid and complexity in capturing 'evidence' that development 'works'. Plus Ed Carr reflects on academic copyright and there is a fantastic link to lots of anthropological blogging and old-fashioned writing.

Enjoy!

New on aidnography
Rituals, risk, development & Aaron Swartz – in response to Owen Barder
Owen Barder wrote an interesting piece on the legacy of Aaron Swartz for technology & development. In my reflections I am more cautious in invoking his legacy as research rituals, development's guarded professionalism and a gene…

Rituals, risk, development & Aaron Swartz – in response to Owen Barder

Owen Barder just wrote a very interesting post on Aaron Swartz’ legacy and how his work is linked to international development and future debates especially in the area of ICT4D (Development and the Death of Aaron Swartz).
Owen reminds us that open access publishing & data, implementing IATI, open source coding and software and opposing ACTA (or SOPA) should be on top of our technology development agendas.
I agree with Owen, but I am more cautious in linking these processes to the work of Aaron Swartz. In short, many of these issues have been and are likely to continue to be discussed within the ritual frameworks of development and research policy-making. Owen concludes that there is still a ‘long, hard fight against those who want go control information and use it to exercise power’, but at the moment I see very few ‘fighters’ out there that would follow a path even remotely similar to Aaron Swartz’, a path that involved personal risk, non-conformity to traditional institutions a…

Links & Contents I Liked 58

Hello all,

A link list featuring interesting opposites: First, it seems that this week's links would turn into a 'Max Weber bureaucracy memorial list', but luckily, in the second half there are some great links that highlight the power of storytelling, innovative co-operations for learning, helping & healing, development-related journalism from Colombia, admitting failure, thinking outside the box and getting advice from F. Scott Fitzgerald on writing as soldiering...

Enjoy!

New on aidnography
Simulating civil society participation, European Investment Bank edition

A picture says more than...Merry Christmas, Africa from the German ministry of development
These two short posts, on an invitation of the European Investment Bank to attend a civil society seminar including a discussion with board members where detailed questions have to be handed in beforehand and on a German newspaper ad signed by the minister for development cooperation that conveys some very old-school imagine…