Duncan Green just proposed 9 trends and their impact on employment in the aid industry-particularly for fresh graduates or those freshly entering the sector. As a critical reader and friend of his blog I think that Duncan has done a great job outlining his 9 trends and starting this important discussion. But that he did not get everything right and in fact overlooked a few important trends as I am going to argue in my response.
So without further delay, here are my 9 trends and their implications for how to enter the sector and find meaningful engagement and employment. Each of my points actually deserves their own post-which maybe a project for the autumn…And while I believe these are emerging trends I also don’t judge them as simply ‘good’ or ‘bad’, hence the academic in me wants to add more nuances.
1. There are no trends: A lot of things will remain the same Generally speaking, I don’t like the word ‘trend’ and I genuinely believe that over the next 2-5 years many parameters wil…
After the Economist’s piece on the (non-)value of doing a PhD and some comments later (e.g. Prometheus doesn't read the Economist (I like the slightly cynical dichotomy between ‘civilians’ and the ‘academic insiders) or the '100 Reasons NOT to Go to Graduate School' (they are only halfway through so check it out regularly in the future...) I had an interesting conversation with a prospective PhD student a few days ago.
This was not the first time that I had been approached about doing a PhD and I always try to be as frank as possible, even playing the ‘devil’s advocate’ when it comes to the complicated ‘should I or shouldn’t I?’ decision-making process. At the end of our conversation I sat down and tried to summarize a few important and generic points from the point of view of doing a PhD in Development Studies and in the UK.
I understand that every case is different and involves a range of motives, options and rationales, but there a few important questions and topics t…
Happy Midsummer from Sweden! Your weekly mix of news, views, tweets & more is here!
Development news: MSF & #AidToo; Oxfam cuts; USA leaving UN Human Rights Council; aid organizations need to be careful to link migration objectives to their projects; FEMA's troubles in Puerto Rico; excluding women on Jordan; UNHCR's innovation metrics.
Our digital lives: A special section on how to organize panels & events well.
Publications: Organization after Social Media; the rise of impact evaluations; why government's political orientation matters little for immigration policy-making.
Academia: Anthropology coming to terms with the challenges of truly decolonizing the discipline.
As it often happens with my book reviews for the blog there is an element of chance and surprise involved when discovering a great book for review. Fiona Dunkley’s Psychosocial Support for Humanitarian Aid Workers: A Roadmap of Trauma and Critical Incident Care is no exception-it probably popped up in my Twitter feed or in a post in the 50 Shades of Aid Facebook group. In light of the #AidToo developments and longer-term discussion in the industry about staff care, well-being and psychological support this is obviously an important and timely book.
Simply put, the book pretty much exactly delivers what Dunkley summarizes in her conclusion: This book has taken you on a journey of understanding trauma, highlighting the psychological risk to aid workers, explaining the physiology of trauma, sharing in-depth case studies to explore therapeutic trauma models, exploring coping strategies, managing critical incidents, highlighting pathways to care throughout deployments, and discussing the c…
This is going to be the last weekly review before my summer break. Unlike previous years I will have a proper break until the second half of August to focus on other (academic) writing projects, catching up on my reading list - and simply take a break from the #globaldev news cycle. There will be an official vacation post at the end of next week with reading suggestions from the archive-and perhaps even the odd book review or commentary depending on what will happen over the summer.
In the meantime: Enjoy a packed reading list-especially as many readers in Canada and the US will have long weekends!
Development news: the challenges of reporting sexual violence in Nigeria; logos on aid supplies-it's complicated; #globaldevwomen; you wouldn't send winter clothing to Samoa-but some people still do; Australians overestimate aid spending; the military-migrant economy in Nepal; period underwear; don't 'poorface'-on poverty tourism in the UK; Bill Gates wasted 600 mi…