Showing posts from August, 2016

Communicating development in a post-factual world: How to win against the Daily Mail

This weekend the Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday was quite chuffed: This makes conservative commentator Ian Birrell quite happy, of course, and he is quick to compliment Priti Patel, the UK ’ s Secretary of State for International Development, in the same article : She is, after all, an uncompromising Right-winger known to harbour grave doubts about the wisdom of blowing so much money on aid. Ms Patel seems determined to shake up her sanctimonious department, though her room for manoeuvre will be limited. There is no doubt it makes sense to spend less on vainglorious aid projects and more on our own defence, given Middle East instability, jihadist atrocities and Russian provocations. We must hope Ms Patel does not become seduced by flawed concepts of saving the world. If you go through some of the contributions that are featured in the article and that have been part of the targeted campaign against development spending you get a glimpse of the Daily Mail ’ s post-factual filt

Links & Contents I Liked 197

Hi all, Development news: JK Rowling takes on voluntourism; MSF, Kayla Mueller and caring for humanitarian aid workers; let’s talk fraud, NGOs! The overworked nonprofit employee is the new normal; are aid organizations wasting money in rural Nepal? Our digital lives: The differences between photo-op and policy Justin Trudeau; more critical Silicon Valley journalism needed; analyzing #Brexit tweets; surveillance as feminist issue Academia: Why don’t students read? Can you fix the academic conference business? Enjoy! New from aidnography This Present Darkness (book review) In the end, Ellis is careful not to buy into a simple globally organized crime narrative with Nigerians at the heart which ‘underestimates the degree to which business, organised crime and politics have become integrated through their mutual interests’ (p.229). But he does not let individuals off the hook by defending themselves that today’s crimes are somehow rectifying past wrongs and are justified by hist

This Present Darkness (book review)

As my academic summer break is coming to its end, I am keen on sharing another book review with you. This Present Darkness: A History of Nigerian Organised Crime is one of the most extraordinary books I have read in a long time. The book follows, supported by stunning and meticulously analyzed archival data, about 100 years of Nigerian history through a wide, constantly refocusing lens on ‘organized crime’ from early 1920s mail order scams to the political corruption of the oil boom to today ’ s cyber scams. But if you are expecting a journalistic expose filled with juicy details of crime and corruption, a culture-deterministic review of ‘the Nigerians’ and their skills to defraud or steal or a singular narrative blaming things on colonialism and capitalistic natural resource governance you will be pleasantly disappointed. Stephen Ellis, who passed away shortly after the completion of the manuscript, has been conducting research on the continent since 1971. He asks in his introducti

Links & Contents I Liked 196

Hi all, Happy World Humanitarian Day , happy Friday and happy reading with this week's link review! Development news: UN admits role in Haiti cholera epidemic; World Bank economist writes reflective blog post; New leader, old debate: Who’s going to head the Bank? Participation and inequality; Kenya’s NGO crackdown to silence critics? How academics and NGOs can work together; c ards against humanity; Pakistan’s truck art. Our digital lives: Photographing Justin Trudeau; Neglecting the floods in Louisiana. Academia: Female economists & patriarchal higher education; a long read on mindfulness and political self-exploitation. Enjoy! New from aidnography Today We Drop Bombs, Tomorrow We Build Bridges (book review) Gill’s very good blend of journalistic insights, reflections on the past and present of the humanitarian system and a measured appeal for a sustainable future of aid round off a book I can recommend highly as in introduction into the complexities of modern conflic

Today We Drop Bombs, Tomorrow We Build Bridges (book review)

It is the 2016 World Humanitarian Day today and publishing a review of Peter Gill’s Today We Drop Bombs, Tomorrow We Build Bridges: How Foreign Aid Became a Casualty of War is a fitting contribution to a rapidly changing humanitarian aid environment. Gill’s book is an engagingly written hybrid: Not academic, but reflective and well-sourced; more than long-form journalism from conflict zones around the world, but not a ‘war correspondent tells all’ memoir; excursions into the history of the humanitarian system with plenty of contemporary insights and food for thought for the future. It is a very good resource to discuss the changing nature of the humanitarian system and at the same time accessible to ‘civilians’, aid workers or students who are looking for supplementary reading on the realities and complexities of the humanitarian aid system in ‘the field’. The end of the white savior Gill opens his book with a chapter from the Turkey-Syria border, identifying new actors an

Links & Contents I Liked 195

Hi all, TGIF! Time for a fresh link review from the wonderful world of development, digital culture and higher education! Development news: The #allmalepanel gets a thorough feminist academic treatment; TV program on medical volunteerism; localization of aid without creating a new class of globalized organizations; giving refugees cash; from DRC to PNG-the difficult engagement with extractive industries; on the road with Afghan migrants; what really happened to Dag Hammarskjold? Who does ‘aid work’? Our digital lives: …and I didn’t even get the T-Shirt-feminist writing in the age of new capitalism; Airspace: How platform capitalism helps to create familiar experiences in distant locations; the darker sides of authentic Internet fame.  Academia: Proud not be a ‘serious academic’; theorising digital scholarship. Enjoy! Development news Responding to #AllMalePanels: A Collage Are all-male panels (AMPs) a symptom of continuing gender inequality that needs calling out? Undoubtedly. D