Showing posts from January, 2012

Links & Content I liked 09

Hello all!   I really enjoyed teaching a class on The lives of aid workers – Between transnational identities, local realities and conference rooms in 5-star hotels this week and this morning's new post is closely related to the question that many students have on how to engage critically and in a meaningful way with your first field experiences. But, as always, there are also a few other stories that have captured my attention this week.   Enjoy! New on aidnography Student question: How to use this experience to come as a sort of self-reflective practice of auto-evaluation and awareness-raising? A recently graduated development studies student wonder how to use his DRC plans as a sort of self reflective practice of auto-evaluation. My reply is dealing with the power of the everyday, saying 'No' and enjoying small successes! Development Strength, Creativity and Livelihoods of Karimojong Youth "We lost our cows and we resorted to hard and risky work in mines, qu

Student question: How to use this experience to come as a sort of self-reflective practice of auto-evaluation and awareness-raising?

A few days ago I received a message from a recent graduate from a well-known development studies programme who I should call 'Julian'. He is about to travel to DRC for his first experience in an African developing country. And he wonders about his potential engagement - especially with his recently acquired critical knowledge of 'reflective aid work' in the back of his mind. Because his questions seem to become more important for a growing number of students and graduates I will reply to his message publicly. I will try to be constructive in my reply, rather than taking a short-cut as in 'maybe this is all about you and your self-indulgent mission to "help" people', because I honestly don't believe that this is what Julian's message is about. So instead, I will focus on three themes: The power of the everyday , the power of saying 'No' and the power of small successes . Here's Julian's message that I have slightly edited to ke

Links & Content I liked 08

Hello all! Quite a few interesting, profound and quirky development-related things have caught my eye since my post last week - especially in the context of media & development - and there is also a new book review available! Enjoyment, comments & sharing welcome!   New on aidnography Book review: Eleanor O’Gorman’s ‘Conflict and Development’ If you are looking for a concise introduction to the complex field of 'Conflict and Development', I can recommend Eleanor O'Gorman's book. Great for undergrad teaching and learning or for trainings!   Development Seeing Beyond the River In the video, Richard Kavuma of Uganda's newspaper The Observer describes the way Africa is portrayed to a river.  This river is full of blood, guns, starvation and disease. These are the stories.  However, he says, there is beauty growing right on the banks of that very river of reporting.  If there ever was a strong simile for Western media's reporting on the gl

Book review: Eleanor O’Gorman’s ‘Conflict and Development’

I really enjoyed Eleanor O’Gorman’s ‘Conflict and Development’ as a concise introduction to core debates, theories and practical responses on the complex nexus between peace, conflict and development. Although it comprises only 136 pages, the book is a very useful resource for undergraduate teaching and learning or for facilitating discussions or trainings with non-expert audiences. To achieve the aim ‘to map out the thinking and practices that are redefining contemporary responses to violent conflict in the Global South’ (2), O’Gorman’s five core chapters aim at delivering the following insights: · Understanding violent conflict and its relationship with poverty and development (Chapter 2); · Designing and using conflict analysis as a tool for development (Chapter 3); · The evolving international aid architecture – policies and organisations, including competing ideas of security – that shapes the conflict and development agenda (Chapter 4); · The political m