Links & Contents I Liked 319

Hi all,

I had a great short trip to Moldova-hence a slightly belated link review without much of an introduction, but a nice pic of a quaint little church in Balti!

Enjoy!

New from aidnography
Heineken in Africa (book review)

Heineken in Africa is an excellent book, one that underlines the importance of taking a long-term, historical perspective when assessing corporate engagement in Africa and highlighting the nuances of how multinational companies operate in what is all too often labelled as a ‘difficult’ environment. Van Beemen’s particularly strength lies in the fact that he not vilifying a company or making blanket claims about the ‘evils of capitalism’ and yet provides ample of food for thought for assessing the private sector’s role for ‘sustainable development’.
Development news
Why Has The World Forgotten Haiti?

Humanitarian conditions in Haiti have significantly worsened over the past year, the U.N.’s Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Ursula Mueller warned in an address earlier this month.
Hunger levels are on the rise and more than half of Haiti’s population lives below the poverty line. Access to basic services is very limited and more than a quarter of Haitians lack clean water to drink. Some 2.6 million people are expected to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2019, and more than 300,000 children are unable to get an education.
Bryan Bowman for the Globe Post with an update on Haiti, the country that unfortunately seems to tick many boxes in the humanitarian bingo about being 'crisis-torn' & 'forgotten'.

Catastrophic failures in PNG health service delivery

Governance of the health system remains a problem. The enthusiasm of development theorists and practitioners for improvements in governance embraced the introduction of corporatist managerial methods as a means to this end. Endless audits, flowcharts, grids, log frames, workshops and surveillance strategies later, this approach appears to have achieved little. Failures of leadership, breakdowns in communication, lack of transparency, and a host of other systemic problems have been identified, and managerial solutions prescribed to resolve them. But assumptions about the universal applicability of managerial systems not only ignore the practical difficulties for the health sector staff in PNG, but are also blind to their neo-liberal foundations.
Martha Macintyre for the Devpolicy Blog with a harsh update from Papua New Guinea; yet another reminder that it's not just fun, dancing & car washing in the 'most undiscovered country'...

NGO ignored warnings about bullying boss, before and after tragedy
Hmaidan was described by witnesses as a “predator” who bypassed usual hiring practices to surround himself with attractive women. He told investigators they had been referred to by others as his “harem”. These were qualified professionals who were excited and proud to work for the climate cause. He objectified, belittled and undermined them. Sample comments, which he denied making, include “you’re here to look good” and “you’re smart for a blonde”. One complainant accused him of inappropriately touching her and making repeated sexual overtures.
Working for Hmaidan was miserable, according to the testimony of his former employees. He was demanding and unrealistic, with an explosive response to disappointment. Several staff said they were chronically underpaid.
(...)
The board initially showed limited appetite for self-interrogation. Its instructions to the investigator focused on the complaints against Hmaidan. Walsh reported “systemic issues” at Can-I that were “as troubling and damaging to the organization” as the behaviour of its leader. But the reasons behind those failings, including the weak responses to the 2016 complaint and news of Borday’s death, went unexamined.
That is not to say the board was unaware of its past lapses. After the investigation concluded, it wrote to participants: “The board deeply regrets not undertaking more detailed investigations and more determined corrective action in response to earlier warning signs.”
Megan Darby for Climate Change News with another shocking #AidToo story that also includes failures in governance and oversight.

Poor coverage of floods in southern Africa? Blame the media bosses

Conservative estimates in research to be published later this year show that South African newsrooms have shrunk by about half in the past decade. In 2007 there were about 10 000 journalists. Now there are about 5 000.
South Africa fits very much with the developed world global pattern of job losses in the traditional media sector. The losses are mainly in the senior category of journalists (40-60 year olds). In other words, those who are experienced.
The age-old practice of having journalists who are specialists – they write about specific fields such as science and education, also known as beat reporters – have all but disappeared. Other layers that have been removed from newsrooms included those responsible for editing articles and fact checking for accuracy. This explains the spike in mistakes in newspapers as well as online publications.
Glenda Daniels for the Conversation with a reminder about the dire situation of journalism in South Africa (and beyond)-another issue where 'Northern' & 'Southern' issue more and more converge for the worse.

After five years, I am back in the UK – and the poverty I observed then is getting worse

The rise in child poverty, alongside the deepening housing crisis, is no coincidence. This trend comes as a result of a powerful paradigm shift, in which housing, more than a place to live with dignity, became a financial asset. This has distorted the functioning of land and property markets, as well as generating an increase in homelessness and an imbalance between housing costs, incomes and quality of living.
Raquel Rolnik, the former UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, for the Independent with yet another reminder of how 'development' issues play an increasing role in unequal OECD societies.

NGO better paying jobs drain public amenities of their staff

They complain that health workers are usually not available to serve them – blaming authorities for putting the entire population, in the district, in a danger.
The population claim that their health center, one of the few available facilities, is near to out of service. They argue that taking a patient to the facility is as good as leaving them wherever they are.
The center’s authorities are aware of the problem of absenteeism of staff, but there is little they can do. “Every morning, humanitarian agencies transport staff from the health center to the (refugee) settlements, leaving the health facility with no one to attend to the multitude of patients who come to the hospital on a daily basis,” John Lutara, the Chairperson of Palabek Ogili Health Unit Management Unit, said.
At his capacity, John can only watch. He cannot discipline anyone. This makes him so sad, he says. John thinks majority of his staff got better paying jobs within the humanitarian organizations operating in the region, leaving the facility barely empty.
The Cross-Border Network with a very familiar story from Northern Uganda about global aid and local capacities...

The Problem With Cherie Blair's Statement About Rape In Africa

People like to use this term "African women" to convey a narrative of a woman who doesn't care enough about herself. But they don't actually mean every woman in Africa. Blair's not talking about other white women who look like her, who happen to live in Africa or who grew up there. She's talking about black African girls.
Joanne Lu for NPR Goats & Soda with an excellent background interview that puts Cherie Blair's comments into context.

Ads about bus stop harassment and 'bonus wives' normalise sexism
Such marketing plays on societal expectations about what a woman will or should put up with. The MTN advert is one of many in which a woman is reduced to an object, with little voice or agency. Even when she’s accosted, she has to smile back. While it is intended to be humorous, it’s not funny for those who face street harassment and intrusion on a routine basis.
Rosebell Kagumire for the Guardian on everyday sexism in advertisement in Uganda.

The Future Is African

The legacy Future Africa is working towards is building a truly Pan-African research hub. Being able to say, years from now, that the center was instrumental in training a Kenyan Ph.D. student or a postdoctoral fellow who has gone home to launch a life-changing project in Nairobi, is an ambition worth chasing, Slippers says. “By providing quality research environment in Africa that connects to the global network, we don’t have to go to Sweden, Sweden can come here.”
Hassan Ghedi Santur with a positive story about the future of African higher education for Bright Magazine; living and working in Sweden I love the idea of going to South Africa for inspiration, networking & research!

Saving limbs as a medical act of humanitarian defiance
These activities occur within a health system already under strain. Electricity shortages, stock ruptures of medical supplies, severe over-crowding, vast infrastructural damage and unemployment are all the policy-inflicted force multipliers of the Israeli occupation. These conditions make the bullet wounds far more dangerous.
For the abandoned people of Gaza, there is no such thing as an ‘international community’ that will address this crisis. There are a collection of political interests, with the most powerful of them entirely backing the occupation. Bilateral aid is channelled at an unprecedented level to Israel, while being entirely cut off from the humanitarian mechanisms needed to deal with the consequences of never ending occupation and siege.
What health professionals can do is to defy these policies by continuing to save lives and alleviate suffering. In the case of Gaza, that means salvaging the limbs that are being targeted with the intention to debilitate.
Jonathan Whittall & Ghassan Abu-Sitta for MSF Analysis share reflections on how their medical work in Palestine is inherently political.

Responsible data for philanthropists

Support awareness and compliance with new regulations and legislation that can protect privacy. Don’t use “innovation” as an excuse for putting historically marginalized individuals and groups at risk or for allowing our societies to advance in ways that only benefit the wealthiest. Question the current pathway of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” and where it may take us.
Linda Raftree for Wait...What? Linda clearly needs to write more! Her posts are always excellent!


The SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) potentially offer an inclusive, integrated approach to development, centred on social justice, for all of humanity. But how are they being implemented in practice? Too often a piece-meal, sectoral approach is adopted, rooted in modernist assumptions of linear transition and control.
Our digital lives
Nonprofit journalism: can foundations object to the stories they fund?

How might a foundation take on its grantees without stomping on freedom of the press? What rights did funders have to object? What did nonprofit news organizations owe their funders? Was it a good idea to have nonprofit journalism that relied on donations?
The questions raised are difficult and remain largely unaddressed in the nonprofit news sector other than in broad guidelines for funders and nonprofit newsrooms developed by the American Press Institute and a standard reference to a so-called firewall – editorial decisions should not be influenced by financial considerations – by the Institute for Nonprofit News.
Bill Birnbauer for the Ethical Journalism Network raises important questions that are also highly relevant for #globaldev non-profit journalism.

The House We Live In

But the problem with platforms is not merely a matter of algorithms, whether its tainted historical data reinscribing a history of prejudice, or opaque structures allowing for masked discrimination. Discrimination plays more overtly into the atmosphere of distrust platforms foment and rely on. If the presence of cameras in Airbnbs, etc., implies a mutual distrust among parties to a quasi-social transaction in one sense, it may also unite them against the unannounced but often presumed targets of surveillance in a racist society: racialized others used to rationalize systems of tracking and control. As Simone Browne documents in Dark Matters, many surveillance techniques were developed as part of maintaining slavery and retain that legacy in their implementation.
Cameras in Airbnbs indicate a desire not merely to protect property but an implied willingness to sort people into those who are confident that they “have nothing to hide” (i.e. have not been subjected to direct scrutiny on the basis of some prejudice) and those who have reason to fear being subject to prejudicial suspicion.
Rob Horning for Real Life on the broader issue of allowing camera surveillance in Air B'n'n rentals.

Publications
Reporting with WhatsApp: Mobile Chat Applications’ Impact on Journalistic Practices

The conclusions of this article suggest that the utilization of WhatsApp has impacted the relationship between journalists and sources both on a personal and professional level. New perceptions of intimacy and trust, camaraderie and obtainability, and temporality are observed among the journalists who use this application. These observations carry important professional and ethical implications for journalists navigating today’s media ecology, and show how technological and socioprofessional aspects are tightly interwoven.
Tomas Dodds with an open access article in Digital Journalism.

The Morphology of the #MustFall Movement
This is the inaugural issue of the student journal on the deepening of transformation, decolonisation, and the Africanisation of higher education.
ENTRi Handbook
Updates illuminate, amongst others,
new EU structures dealing with the Common Security and Defence Policy;
significant changes in the management structures of the Department of Peace Operations of the United Nations;
good practice instructions on tackling safety concerns, including cyber;
concepts of migration, gender and sexual exploitation and abuse;
the role of policing in peace operations.
The updated 4th Edition of the practical field manual In Control is now available from Europe’s Training Initiative for Civilian Crisis Management.

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