Showing posts from 2018

Should aid workers fly less? Yes, but it’s a bit more complicated

Over at From Poverty to Power my dear colleague Thea Hilhorst shared some reflections on why aid workers should fly less and how the industry needs to address air travel in its efforts to lead climate and social change work by example.

I generally agree with her sentiment to fly less, have tougher discussions within aid organizations about (air) travel and be the change they want to see from other actors. But as basically everything else in #globaldev, things are a bit more complicated...

Getting a sense of the scope of the problem
How much of an issue is aid worker air travel?
Most of us will probably agree that time-sensitive humanitarian work will always require air travel. There is probably also some ‘essential’ travel to get safely into countries and to avoid long road trips. And then there are trade-offs, for example whether stressed staff should be allowed to fly from their duty station to a relaxing R&R break or how often they should be allowed to fly ‘home’ to their famili…

Who really needs a World Development Report?

The World Bank released its annual World Development Report (WDR) last Friday.

The Changing Nature of Work
has already triggered some negative feedback which contributes to an emerging case study about the value of ‘flagship reports’, development policy discourses and ritualized behavior from the critics; above all, bigger questions loom what the purpose of the WDR exercise really is.

Just in case you have been hibernating for the last five to eight years or so the report starts with an ‘everything has already been said-but not by everybody’ summary:
Technology is changing the skills that employers seek. Workers need to be better at complex problem-solving, teamwork and adaptability. Digital technology is also changing how people work and the terms on which they work. Even in advanced economies, short-term work, often found through online platforms, is posing similar challenges to those faced by the world’s informal workers. The Report analyzes these changes and considers how governme…

Links & Contents I Liked 296

Hi all,

Another book review + link review double-feature this week!

Development news: Melania in Africa; Indonesia's tsunami, localization & empathy; another #AidToo story from Liberia; how Bring Back Our Girls created a different movement; aid billboards in Burundi; decolonizing global health; Gaza as laboratory for Israel's military-industrial complex; philanthropy at the crossroads; how to survive conferences.

Publications: Uncovering 'community'; Oxfam's learning from influencing policy; from civil resistance to building democracy; voices from Silicon Savannah.

Academia: Circular logic of humanitarian expertise; digital learning revisited. 


New from aidnography
Curated stories (book review)
Curated Stories is a remarkable entry point for critical discussions that probably all of us should have who ‘do’ communication and/for development. Critical engagement with the storytelling discourse goes far beyond an authentic organizational blog or the limitation…

Curated stories (book review)

In my book reviews I usually include my endorsement towards the end of the review, but Sujatha Fernandes’ Curated Stories-The Uses and Misuses of Storytelling deserves praise right from the beginning! Her excellent, critical, theoretically strong and empirically rich book will hopefully find its way onto many reading lists for courses on media and communication studies and beyond. And even though her case studies are rooted in the US and its foreign policy it is an important book for communication for development and social change as well.
Alongside a broader shift to neoliberal and financialized economies, storytelling is being reconfigured on the model of the market to produce entrepreneurial, upwardly mobile subjects and is leveraged toward strategic and measurable goals driven by philanthropic foundations. Curated personal stories shift the focus away from structurally defined axes of oppression and help to defuse the confrontational politics of social movements (pp.2-3).
We are l…

Links & Contents I Liked 295

Hi all,

Let's just say it was a long week, the link review is quite extensive & there's also a new book review-so check things out, enjoy your weekend & keep reading!

New from aidnography
Learning service (book review)
Learning Service is an important, positive, constructive and encouraging collection of volunteering best practices and food for thorough reflection as well as an excellent introduction for all those who may be approached by young people or co-workers who are excited about saving the world and want to do it as ethically as this imperfect offering allows.
Development news
Nobel peace prize 2018 won by Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad - as it happened
Haroon Siddique for the Guardian with live updates & background readings on this year's Nobel peace prize winners.

The best Nobel Prize in a long time. Finally focus on horrific & widespread sexual violence in war. Must lead to action against impunity for perpetrators & preventive action within armies &…