Links & Contents I Liked 314

Hi all,

Welcome back to another week of #globaldev, well, craziness & serious stuff about our favorite industry!

Development news: Comic Relief pulls another White Savior stunt; something rotten with WFP food supplies; Germany sells arms to Yemen; under-reported crises; can we sue the World Bank now? Burberry pretends to learn from mistakes; what happens to left-over aid supplies? Cash transfer programms meet ground realities; women in African armies; White Savior-the movie (spoof); Sweden's first gender professor at the Defence University; Jason Hickel wants to get rid of UK aid; on hearts & hearts; a new source for female experts


Our digital lives: A world designed for men (almost) breaks the Internet...
 

Publications: Literature review on ICT4D & jobs in Africa; how many publications do you need for a tenure track job?
 

Academia: UC system cancels Elsevier subscriptions; should academics fly less (again...).

Enjoy!

Development news

Stacey Dooley trolled for 'White Saviour complex' after Comic Relief trip to Uganda

Stacey had been sharing moments from her trip to Uganda via Instagram while she was there - posing for pictures with some of the local children and women she met while there.
As a result, supporters of the No White Saviours organisation began posting messages in the comments section of her posts.
“For anyone who doesn't see the problem with this image please go to @nowhitesaviors and @rachel.cargle to learn,” one angered follower wrote on an image of Stacey hugging a child.
'White saviour' row: David Lammy denies snubbing Comic Relief
Lammy said it was “simply not true” that he had not responded to the offer, adding he had held two meetings with the organisation. Lammy claimed Comic Relief had “fallen short” of what he called its “public duty” to promote racial equality and serve minority communities.
Comic Relief on Thursday made no apologies, saying the offer of a collaborative film was “still open”. It thanked Dooley for helping people “working with or supported by Comic Relief projects tell their own stories in their own words”.
Lammy initially had responded to the pictures posted on Instagram by Dooley by tweeting: “The world does not need any more white saviours.
Stacey Dooley hits back at MP Lammy's Comic Relief 'white saviour' criticism
Stacey Dooley has challenged MP David Lammy after he said "the world does not need any more white saviours" following her Comic Relief posts from Africa.
She tweeted: "David, is the issue with me being white? (Genuine question)... because if that's the case, you could always go over there and try raise awareness?"xc
The Mirror, the Guardian and the BBC on this year's Comic Relief blunder after the wide-spread criticism of Ed Sheeran's video in 2017. Comic Relief responds with corporate-style PR plastic speak showing no critical learning or self-reflection, encouraging you to donate your money elsewhere...


UN probes substandard food aid for mothers and children
The World Food Programme is investigating how up to 50,000 tonnes of nutrition-boosting porridge mix it purchased for distribution to nursing mothers and malnourished children in Somalia, Yemen, Bangladesh, and elsewhere was of substandard quality, despite its quality inspection process.
Ben Parker for IRIN with an important reminder why humanitarian journalism is needed; such seemingly small, technical and complex stories get easily ignored by mainstream media, but it is important to shed investigative journalistic light on all parts of the UN system!

In Yemen war, coalition forces rely on German arms and technology

Conclusive proof of German-made arms and technology in Yemen — in the air, at sea, and on land, despite German arms guidelines that expressly forbid exports to countries involved in armed conflicts, unless they are acting in self-defense.
Naomi Conrad & Nina Werkhäuser for Deutsche Welle with a reminder that European countries benefit nicely from war and conflicts in the Middle East...

Suffering in Silence III

Yet, some crises receive less media coverage than others. Displacement in the Democratic Republic of Congo rivals that of Syria but has received far less attention. In the Central African Republic widespread starvation has set in, which has gone largely unnoticed. And while the catastrophic 2010 earthquake in Haiti hit the headlines, the food crisis in 2018 barely made international news.
CARE with some interesting numbers and food for thought on unde-reported crises.

Historic Supreme Court Win: World Bank Group Is Not Above The Law

In a historic 7-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court decided today in Jam v. International Finance Corporation (IFC) that international organizations like the World Bank Group can be sued in U.S. courts.
The Court’s decision marks a defining moment for the IFC – the arm of the World Bank Group that lends to the private sector. For years, the IFC has operated as if it were “above the law,” at times pursuing reckless lending projects that inflicted serious human rights abuses on local communities, and then leaving the communities to fend for themselves.
Opinion analysis: Justices hold that international organizations do not have near-complete immunity
Justice Stephen Breyer filed a dissenting opinion in which he emphasized that, after World War II, “many in this Nation saw international cooperation through international organization as one way both to diminish the risk of conflict and to promote economic development and commercial prosperity.” In response, Breyer wrote, Congress enacted the IOIA. “Given the differences between international organizations and nation states, along with the Act’s purposes and the risk of untoward consequences, I would leave the” IOIA “where we found it—as providing for immunity in both commercial and noncommercial suits.”
Earthrights International and Amy Howe for scotusblog. I'm not a legal scholar so I'm a bit skeptical as to how far-reaching this verdict really is.

Burberry launches staff training plan after 'noose' hoodie row

The first step, called “increasing our understanding”, included plans to give all employees further training as well as to assemble an advisory board of external experts. The fashion house has also developed a plan to “increase our consciousness and understanding of social issues”.
The brand said it would increase staff diversity by expanding its creative arts scholarship internationally and providing full-time employment for 50 graduates from the programme over the next five years, among other initiatives.
Leah Harper for the Guardian. It's 2019 and whenever I read such corporate responses to an issue I'm just wondering what they have (not) be doing all those years before the bad publicity broke...

From Trailers To Tents: What Happens To Leftover Aid Supplies?

Brumagne says that whether the item is a used tent or unused medical equipment, they try to donate it to a similar actor in the area – possibly the ministry of health, a local health clinic or another medical charity. If they can't find someone in the medical field who can use the item, they donate it in a way that still helps the local population. For example, Doctors Without Borders has donated tents to create more classroom space for schools.
The one thing they try to avoid is giving supplies to someone who will then sell them.
Joanne Lu for NPR Goats & Soda with interesting insights into aid supplies. Many agencies put some thought and effort into this topic, it seems, although 'donating' stuff is often more complicated than it seems...

Information Gaps Drive Mistrust in Cash Transfer Programs

Though cash transfer programs have been touted as efficient and dignifying alternatives to project-based aid, some residents of Wajir who registered with the programs reported not receiving cash when expected. While there may have been an explanation for why payments stopped, Saney and Garore told Devex they didn't know what it was—and the lack of information about when they would and would not receive payments was echoed by many other residents of Wajir.
(...)
“The beneficiaries who did not give correct details at registration, like phone numbers that were not registered to them, did not receive their cash entitlement. Most of the complaints that we received were of this nature. The complainants were advised to register their phone lines and provide this information to WFP, which in turn verified the details again on the M-Pesa system [a mobile money transfer service] and if found correct, the cash was disbursed to the new numbers,” he said.
(...)
It is evident that the people targeted by the program, and especially those who are supposed to receive money only during emergencies, do not understand why a neighbor will receive regular money while they do not. Ndoka said HSNP has done campaigns in the area to inform people.
Anthony Langat for the Pulitzer Center. Every development intervention is never just technical, but always contextual, political, complicated and often in connection with groups who have a very different understanding from 'us' about technology etc.

African Women Surmount Obstacles to Redefine Their Countries’ Militaries

Despite making strides toward representation across the continent’s militaries, women continue to fight harassment and discrimination at all levels of service. And when conflicts subside, they often receive fewer recognitions than their male counterparts.
Salem Solomon for Voice of America with an excellent overview of women's engagement in African armies.

Seth Meyers, Amber Ruffin Spoof Awards Friendly Movies With 'White Savior' Trailer
In the trailer, Amber Ruffin plays a "world-renowned scientist, an accomplished cellist and activist" while Meyers plays "a man who was white while she did it" and needlessly intercedes in moments that show Ruffin's character showcasing her accomplishments.
Katie Kilkenny for Hollywood Reporter on a movie that didn't make it quite to the Oscars...

A Woman's Place in War Studies

When Annick Wibben became the newly inaugurated Anna Lindh professorship for Gender, Peace and Security at the Swedish Defence University in Stockholm this year, she made some historic firsts. She may be the first professor in gender, peace and security studies in an institution that educates both military and civilian students. She will certainly be the first female professor to join the department of War Studies at the Swedish Defence University.

 

Good news from the Swedish Defence University in the context of feminist foreign and security policy!  

The Scandal of British Aid

This is the text of a speech delivered at the Cambridge Union in defense of the proposition: This house believes that British aid is not working.
(...)
There’s much that Britain could do toward this end, if we were serious about it. We could push to democratize international institutions, ensuring that poor countries get a fair voice in the decisions that affect them. We could close down the tax havens that Britain controls in its overseas territories. We could push for new rules that protect public services, and even for a global minimum wage, which would guarantee a decent livelihood to the workers who produce the mountains of stuff we consume. And here’s the best part: all of this could be accomplished without a single pound of aid. It would, however, require a fight – a fight against those who benefit so tremendously from the status quo. But then, so has every struggle for a better world.
Jason Hickel for Global Policy with great food for discussion for your next #globaldev class!

World Press Story of the Year nominee Lorenzo Tugnoli

Tugnoli modestly puts his World Press Photo nomination down to the sheer scale of his work in Yemen – commenting that “it’s one of the issues that has to be in World Press Photo this year, and we were the only Western media able to get this coverage” – but it’s easy to pick out other possible reasons, from his mix of images of conflict and everyday moments, to his restraint in showing harrowing suffering. Tugnoli says Laurent at The Washington Post has had an important hand in this, creating edits that include “pictures that are more poetic” alongside the “the ones that are more gruesome”; but he adds that he feels it’s essential to “balance these two aspects.”
Diane Smyth for the British Journal of Photography with an interesting portrait of Lorenzo Tugnoli and war photography in Yemen.

The Good, The Bad, And The Jargon

Perhaps jargon is a way to signal that this, too, is a professional space. Perhaps complicated language is the easiest way for people to feel justified in choosing a career at the United Nations instead of Goldman Sachs. Perhaps the language is purposely vague and celebratory, patting on the back anyone who decides to “do good.”
Sarika Bansal for Bright Magazine. I think that there is an interesting link between the overproduction of texts and jargon: A lot of 'bad', jargon-heavy writing is the fault of copy-pasting from previous reports, rushing towards a deadline and producing a '30-page report' rather than spending time on producing a shorter, more accessible document.

Where we get crazy effective

These days I’m having tough conversations with family members, friends as I learn more about the roots of all these things. It necessitates changes in my own life too. Those are sometimes really painful things. So that’s why this heart thing really matters too. Our brains struggle hard to be resilient. Your brain thinks one thing and keeps thinking that thing. But your heart feels something and then processes it differently. It actually expands the more it gets broken, and wow, isn’t that…talk about capacity! Hello, shouldn’t we be building our own capacity to do that?!
Our hearts hold unimaginable potential.
Yes, there is so much overwhelming pain and grief. But when you dare to look at it, you can’t help but remember that there’s also an insane amount of care and hope and acceptance being offered to people at this point in history. Holding both of those together at the same time is where healing happens and where we get crazy effective.
Jennifer Lentfer talks to Mary Ann Clements about healing ourselves, our communities and much more!

For Journalists Seeking Female Experts on Global Affairs, Here’s a New Source

Now, a new database, launched by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, wants to increase the number of female experts who are interviewed and quoted in news stories on conflict and security, to better balance reporting by journalists.
The venture, called InterviewHer, consists of a large free database of female experts globally. Journalists can browse by region and expertise and send interview requests through the database.
“The numbers are startling — it’s clear women’s voices are excluded from experts’ narratives,” said Ketty Nivyabandi, a media associate with the Nobel Women’s Initiative, an organization based in Ottawa, Canada, and founded in 2006 by six female Nobel laureates. It was set up “to magnify the power and visibility of women working in countries around the world for peace, justice and equality,” according to the mission statement.
Kacie Candela for PassBlue on a new initiative that reminds journalists that #womenalsoknowstuff.

Our digital lives

The deadly truth about a world built for men – from stab vests to car crashes

They impact on women’s lives, every day. The impact can be relatively minor – struggling to reach a top shelf set at a male height norm, for example. Irritating, certainly. But not life-threatening. Not like crashing in a car whose safety tests don’t account for women’s measurements. Not like dying from a stab wound because your police body armour doesn’t fit you properly. For these women, the consequences of living in a world built around male data can be deadly.
As you can see from the 150,000+ interactions, Caroline Criado-Perez' piece for the Guardian went *really* viral over the weekend-looking forward to reading her book soon!

Publications
The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on Jobs in Africa

The study is divided into four broad empirical categories: ICT-based information services (Section 2); mobile money (Section 3); various direct associations between ICTs and working-age men and women (Section 4); and fast internet (Section 5). This is followed by a discussion on policy options (Section 6), and a conclusion that is forward-looking and points to some future research options (Section 7).
Elvis Melia with a great literature review paper for the German Development Institute.

How Much Do You Have to Publish to Get a Job in a Top Sociology Department? Or to Get Tenure? Trends over a Generation

On the day they start their first jobs, new assistant professors in recent years have already published roughly twice as much as their counterparts did in the early 1990s. Trends for promotion to associate professor are not as dramatic but are still remarkable. I evaluate several potential explanations for these trends and conclude that they are driven mainly by changes over time in the fiscal and organizational realities of universities and departments.
John Robert Warren with a new open access article in Sociological Science.

Academia
UC terminates subscriptions with world’s largest scientific publisher in push for open access to publicly funded research

In negotiating with Elsevier, UC aimed to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery by ensuring that research produced by UC’s 10 campuses — which accounts for nearly 10 percent of all U.S. publishing output — would be immediately available to the world, without cost to the reader. Under Elsevier’s proposed terms, the publisher would have charged UC authors large publishing fees on top of the university’s multi-million dollar subscription, resulting in much greater cost to the university and much higher profits for Elsevier.
The UC Office of the President with some bad news for the commercial journal publishing oligopoly...

“Greetings from Berlin, Tokyo, Beijing” – Should we call time on international academic travel?

The composition of research and doctoral committees has become increasingly international in nature, and collaborations are more frequently taking place between institutions from different countries. In addition, the expectation that researchers attend international conferences has grown exponentially. The extent to which many of ones’ colleagues are jetting around the globe is often noticeable from the emails one receives from them: signed off with a carefree, “Greetings from Beijing, Tokyo or Berlin”. However, the damage of international conference tourism by academic frequent flyers is considerable.
Juergen Gerhards for LSE Impact Blog.
None of these self-imposed “we should fly less” initiatives will have any significant impact on travel let alone the environment. Academics could lobby for an end of fuel subsidies and for ticket prices to reflect environmental impact. If attending a board meeting comes with a 1500 Euro price tag for a short-haul flight + additional travel cost, video technology would be adopted without much discussion. And departments would be forced to make tough decisions: What if a travel budget would only allow for 2 people (the really good ECRs) to be sent to the conference rather than pretty much everybody who feels like going to a mega-conference in San Francisco? As long as flights are cheap, markets are expanding and nobody wants to regulate air travel’s environmental impact voluntary initiatives will have little impact.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dear white middle class British women: Please don't send used bras (or anything, really) to Africa

White saviour communication rituals in 10 easy steps

Should I consider a PhD in International Development Studies?

Links & Contents I Liked 330

Summer Break 2019 + Links & Contents I Liked 332