Links & Content I liked 03

As most of us, I come across interesting things/links/posts/articles/research throughout the week and realised that I cannot write an individual post for all of them (yes, it took me a year of blogging to realise this ;)). My own blogging has been a bit slow these past weeks, but there's a bunch of books reviews and other things in the pipeline that I will get out into the world before the holidays.
Enjoy! Share! Comment! Please...


Learning on the job with Shakarbek Niyatbekov
As with many things knowledge management starts with ourselves. Today’s interviewee Shakarbek Niyatbekov talks about his personal strategies, about knowledge sources and networks supporting him in daily work. He is working at the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) in Tajikistan since 2005. He started as a project manager at the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) of the SCO in Tajikistan. Later on after integration of the PIU into the main office he continued his work as National Program Officer responsible for the Rule of Law / Access to Justice projects funded by SDC in Tajikistan.
I do realise that this may not be the best teaser of an online article you have come across so far, but bear with me for a moment longer. I'm honest: I like the SDC's Learning and Networking Blog and I even like the 'Dare to Share' tagline. I like it because it's an honest, open and 'real' attempt at making blogging and social media work for a large aid donor. Many articles could easily be 'hidden' on the SDC's Intranet and the mere fact that they open up to the global public is an important step to go beyond traditional communication channels. I wrote about blogging in the context of project monitoring and evaluation some time ago which may be another aspect that SDC could contemplate for the future.
As modest as this blog is, it helps to gain some real insights into SDC as an organisations where human beings work, have questions and are interested in new methods and ideas. It's not rocket science, it's tied into the work routines and yet it takes away some of the bureaucratic realities I have encountered in man large development organisations. So browse around, the Visual Methods in Development Cooperation - Beyond Social Reporting piece is interesting, too.

Hallowed Halls or Ghost Towns?
This week I re-entered an aid “institution” after five years of working with small foundations and local groups.

After just two short days, I can’t help but be reminded of why I left.

I am once again surrounded by smart, driven, committed people. But unfortunately they are largely a group of people who are also exhausted, overwhelmed, and discouraged by fighting while propagating the very organizations in which they serve. From my still outsider’s perspective, it’s as if the system closes in and the perpetuation of the institution itself slowly, silently becomes what consumes people.
Probably some of you already read Jennifer Lentfer's reflections on re-entering a large organisation of the 'industry' and it's a nice contrast to the SDC effort and shows that a lot of work still needs to be done until aid organisations think and work outside the results-based management box. But then again, insiders like Jennifer who dares to share her stories and challenges are a good example of the possibilities of what blogging can do to connect the 'inside' of aid organisations and their staff to the critical audience 'out there'-and you don't even have to travel to Busan and listen to conference speeches of men in suits about transparency ;)!

Think before you jump (into the social media ocean)
In the last few months, I’ve been reading and following debates about the use and impact of social media, especially blogging, so where better to share my findings and reflections than in this blog...
First, a spate of recent research and surveys on use and impact of social media in the development sector
Emilie Wilson highlights some of the recent studies on impact and blogging which rounds off this section nicely...

Sleep deprivation by full inbox feat. caffeine overload and conference hypertension.
A friend's facebook status seems to sum up the conference season in Durban and Busan quite nicely...


Worst Case Scenario 
In my November contribution to the "Catalyst" section of The Chronicle of Higher Education, I wrote about how I typically deal with some rather minor instances of being insulted -- specifically as a woman -- in a professional context. I have written about this topic here in the blog as well, so I was not surprised by the various responses. In the essay, I did not discuss major harassment or discrimination -- just the routine type of gender-specific insults.
'Female Science Professor's' posts are always worth a read and the discussions and comments are also well worth a read.

Elsevier WebShop 
Article services for your publication
Welcome to your resource for custom products related to your articles published in Elsevier journals. Find all available offerings related to your publications!
'Exit through the gift shop' was my first thought when Elsevier sent me a message with the inviting header 'Printed copy of Evaluation and Program Planning featuring your article' at the end of the publication process that lead to an outstanding scholastic achievement in form of an article I published some time ago. Yes, I was hoping for a complimentary printed copy of the journal where my article is published, but I am still young and probably naive about the academic publishing industry...So why not buy a 'Certificate of Publication' (starts at $39.95) or a 'Journal Cover Poster' (starts at $62.95)? After all the (unpaid) time I spent producing the article and providing contents for Elsevier I really deserve a treat, don't you think?!

And finally...

Curry Without Worry
Welcome home. Namaste. The human connection. All one. East and West. Young and Old. All Beliefs. All walks of life. Over 43,000 meals served, usually 250 at a time. 7104 Volunteers hours clocked. Every Tuesday, rain or shine, for 229 weeks. Over one hundred humanities credits given to high school and college students. For everyone — for you.
This looks like a great initiative, but I had to smile when I read about the 'humanities credits' for students right at the beginning on their homepage...we live in professionalised times, indeed...


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