Links & Contents I Liked 290

Hi all,

Welcome back to another Friday link review!

Development news:
Things are getting better-but poverty is complex; UK Aid in a post-Brexit world; Kenya's start-up scene so white! More money for Kibera; Uganda's 'Ghetto President' is a lesson for digital activism; responding to Kerala's floods; development research & epistemic justice; #MeToo & transitional justice; police militarization.

Our digital lives: 'The Winners take all'-philanthrocapitalism revisited; political trolling made in the Philippines.

Publications: Sweden's official feminist foreign policy handbook; humanitarian emergencies & adolescents.


New from aidnography
Should I transition from aid work to academia? Some don’ts & don’ts

The basic question is whether it is worth exploring PhD options as a mid-career, midlife aid worker with an intention to transition from the development industry into academia. tl:dr: Don’t do it!

Development news
12 Things We Can Agree On about Global Poverty

Ultimately, the more morally relevant metric is not proportions or absolute numbers, but rather the extent of poverty vis-a-vis our capacity to end it. By this metric, the world has much to do—perhaps more than ever before.
Jason Hickel & Charles Kenny for CDG. A more useful list than any Stephen Pinker book on how 'things are getting better' for many people.

By using foreign aid to ‘unashamedly’ benefit Britain, May is missing the chance to truly help Africans

May is right that all African leaders want jobs for their young people, but Britain cannot support exploitative jobs which in fact keep people in poverty, or allow companies to give jobs on the one hand and demand tax holidays with the other.
Britain’s aid budget is precious, and in a world of increasing humanitarian emergencies, fragile states, and with hunger in Africa increasing, it is stretched. Aid should never be diverted from its legal and moral purpose of reducing poverty. Now is not the time to move the goalposts.
Oxfam's Katy Chakrabortty for the Metro on the recent iteration of UK's aid-trade-deal-post-Brexit pipe dream...

An infographic of Kenya’s white tech startups executives sparks rage
Though, talking about diversity, when you look at the complaints and where they came from, one couldn’t fail to notice that the majority – if not all – were men. This also exposes another issue of lack of diversity on the side of women in tech scene in Africa.
Perhaps, this is also an opportunity for the men who complained to place themselves in the shoes of the women.
PK Malinz for Digest Africa on tough diversity issues surrounding the Kenyan start-up ecosystem.

A Kenyan nonprofit’s innovative aerial water system just won it the world’s largest humanitarian prize

Shofco is not the first organization to try and improve water access in Kibera. But many previous attempts to support traditional underground piping systems have left pipes vulnerable to leaks, breakage, and consequent contamination.Initial funding was provided by Pentair, the multinational industrial company. Shofco then worked with Safaricom and the US African Development Fund to build additional kiosks. So far, Shofco’s aerial piping system services reaches over 11,000 people. This is meant to be a pilot phase of the project, and the organization is currently working with the US Centers for Disease Control to study the system’s efficiency before scaling up.
Kemi Lijadu for Quartz. Certainly an interesting project, but there is certainly a particular donor discourse around working in the 'world's largest slum' that attracts attention and funding.

'Ghetto President' shakes up Ugandan politics
Nearly 80 percent of Uganda’s population of 41 million people is under the age of 30, according to Youth Policy Labs, a Berlin-based think-tank. Though new to politics, Kyagulanyi has succeeded in mobilizing youth discontent. The #FreeBobiWine hashtag has become a rallying point on Twitter.
This is something veteran opposition politicians such as Kizza Besigye, who at 62 years old is considered part of Museveni’s generation, have failed to do so. Besigye has lost three consecutive, disputed presidential elections.
The energy behind Kyagulanyi comes in contrast to signs of declining support for Museveni, a former guerrilla fighter and one of Africa’s longest-serving rulers.
Maggie Fick & Cecilie Kallestrup for Reuters on 'Bobi Wine' and digital activism in Uganda.

Flooding Has Devastated Kerala. I Refuse To Sit Back And Do Nothing.
Deforestation and quarrying have made Adimali prone to this kind of disaster. Whenever there’s massive rainfall, a portion of the mountain just collapses, blocking all the roads and making the villages inaccessible, even by foot.
The villagers are afraid because their houses and land aren’t stable anymore. These problems are manmade — they are the result of human sprawl, our neglect of the environment, deforestation, and rampant and unplanned construction. So when it rains in excess, the land becomes unstable.
Robin Abraham talks to Bright Magazine about the flood relief work in India.

Development Requires (Epistemic) Justice
As development researchers we need to critically evaluate and reflect on our ways of doing research, question assumptions that may be inherent in our thinking and strive to de-link colonial biases of knowledge production and sharing from ways of researching, teaching and learning. As scholars we should revisit the basic paradigms of research, especially objectivity. If being value-free means being indifferent to the basic struggles of human and social rights it cannot be part of what it means to be an academic. Epistemic justice is at the very basis of sustainable transformations. We strive to give visibility and voice to attempts to build a just and sustainable future. We do this by serving as platform for critical discussions, contestation and debate that do not seek excuses for, but instead address historical injustices.
A statement from the EADI Working Group on “Post-/Decolonial Perspectives on Development”. The discussions in development research around 'decolonization' have only just begun!

Transitional Justice Lessons Regarding Complex Victims for #MeToo

While #MeToo is unlikely to generate formal financial reparations as in settings of transitional justice, legislatures and private entities like Time’s Up are generating a variety of resources for victims ranging from counseling to money for litigation and some victims may receive money from civil litigation or settlements. Complex victims ought not be denied access to such resources simply because they are not ideal victims. Rather they may find themselves in the unusual position of being eligible both as a giver and receiver of recovery resources.
Lesley Wexler for Verdict. It will interesting to explore further how insights from 'development' in the broadest sense can inform #MeToo & #AidToo debates.

Police militarization fails to protect officers and targets black communities, study finds

Police militarization is sometimes viewed as a necessary infringement of civil liberties for the sake of public safety.
But that position is a false choice based on this study, and a common outcome of aggressive police operations, Lemieux said.
“Research into aggressive, military-style tactics — stop-and-frisk, security checkpoints — may have some effect on targeted crimes like weapons possession. But it has very little impact in terms of crime overall,” Lemieux said. “However, “it does impact the feeling of safety and security in the community where those operations are conducted.“
Nsikan Akpan for PBS. I think this goes beyond the US as 'securitization'-both private and public-will become more militarized around the world.

On a lighter note, it looks like 'Drunk World Bank' found a worthy digital companion:

Our digital lives
The Cruelty of Our Age of Generosity

How is it that we live in this age in which Mark Zuckerberg and every other Silicon Valley person is claiming to change the world, and in which every finance person in New York is involved in giving back? Why do we live in such a generous age that has also been such a cruel age? The argument of the book is that these things are not a coincidence, that giving has become the wingman of taking, and generosity has become the wingman of injustice, and changing the world has become the wingman of keeping the world fundamentally the same and keeping the winners on top.
Isaac Chotiner interviews Anand Giridharadas for Slate about his new book 'Winners take All'.

Gospels of Giving for the New Gilded Age

Is that the kind of future we want? As the latest round of critiques makes clear, we probably won’t have much of a say in the matter. The philanthropists will decide, and then it will be left to their foundations to fight it out.
Elizabeth Kolbert for the New Yorker also includes Giridharadas' book in her long essay on the 'gospels of giving'.

Trolls for Sale in the World’s Social Media Capita
We were also struck to learn how disinformation workers create implicit rules for themselves and their colleagues to help them sleep at night­. These range from drawing moral boundaries (“In a flame war, I only poke fun at people’s bad grammar. I will never slut-shame.”) to affirming that they’re acting in accordance with their own beliefs (“If I don’t really support the politician who’s hiring me, I pass the account onto someone I know who’s a real fan.”). There are even those who acknowledge the inauthenticity of their avatars (one staff member of a politician reported being peer-pressured into creating a fake account in the name of “team spirit” during campaign season).
Through discussions of workers’ social and financial motivations and moral justifications, we ultimately aim to shed light on the vulnerabilities in the political and media ecosystems that make political trolling a side job that’s hard to refuse.
Jonathan Ong for AsiaGlobal Online on political disinformation made in the Philippines.


Handbook Sweden’s feminist foreign policy

This handbook should be a resource for international work relating to gender equality and all women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights. It contains a selection of methods and experiences that can provide examples and inspiration for further work of the Swedish Foreign Service, other parts of the civil service and society as a whole. The handbook also describes the first four years of working with a feminist foreign policy.
The Government of Sweden published her experience with feminist foreign policy in a new handbook.

The Long-term Effect of Humanitarian Emergencies on Adolescents: Existing evidence, gaps and considerations for research and practitioners

It explores some of what we do and do not know about the impacts of humanitarian situations on adolescents’ lives. Adolescents and their specific capacities and vulnerabilities have tended to be overlooked in the design and implementation of humanitarian responses, including in social protection and further components of such responses.
Jose Cuesta, Michelle Godwin, Jeremy Shusterman & Cirenia Chavez with a new paper for UNICEF-Office of Research Innocenti.


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