Links & Contents I Liked 308

Hi all, 

Busy, satisfying day at work today-so without further delay & a long intro here's this week's link review!


New from aidnography

How men fit into the quest for more women leaders in global health

“Sitting in the literal back row and listening to female participants is an important role to show the physical presence but at the same time take yourself back and say ‘I’m actually here to listen,’” he said. “Men as listeners is still an important way of showing solidarity, support, and empathy to the issue.”
Research has also found that women are less likely to ask questions at a panel discussion if the first person to speak in the audience is a man, Denskus explained. Therefore, making a conscious effort to ensure a woman speaks first will encourage other women to speak up.
“It is also important, not just when it comes to outside meetings or fancy conferences, but also when you have meetings inside the organization that you are aware who is attending meetings, who is speaking up, who is asking the questions first,” Denskus said.
My development blogging year 2018 in review

Development news

My hope for 2019 is...

In a season of lists and predictions, many of them dark, it’s easy to forget what underpins much humanitarian work: hope for change.
IRIN with a critical-optimistic outlook into the new year!

Africa in 2019: 7 trends to watch, by Apollos Nwafor

The increase in the number of laws and policies closing and shifting civic space remains a huge threat to voice and public accountability. The ongoing clamp down on fundamental rights and freedom of association and expression in Nigeria, Niger, Uganda, Mozambique, Cameroun and Rwanda, as well as the upcoming elections in at least 12 countries this year, raises the need for a continuous engagement in existing space and creating new spaces (formal and informal).
Apollos Nwafor for fp2p with some topics to keep on your radar for 2019!

Ten threats to global health in 2019

The world is facing multiple health challenges. These range from outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and diphtheria, increasing reports of drug-resistant pathogens, growing rates of obesity and physical inactivity to the health impacts of environmental pollution and climate change and multiple humanitarian crises.
Last, but not least the WHO joins in with some challenges to global health & #globaldev!

Oxfam marked by ‘racism, colonial behaviour and bullying behaviours’, report into sexual misconduct scandal finds

"The Commission has heard multiple staff raise concerns of elitism... racism and colonial behaviour... sexism, rigid hierarchies and patriarchy that affect relationships among Oxfam staff and between Oxfam staff and its partners and program participants."Staff were highly critical of both management behaviour and company procedures for dealing with bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct.
Lizzie Roberts for the Independent with a first look at the Oxfam report by their Independent Commission on Sexual Misconduct, Accountability and Culture Change.

One third of U.N. workers say sexually harassed in past two years

The online survey, carried out by Deloitte in November, was completed by 30,364 people from the United Nations and its agencies - just 17 percent of those eligible. In a letter to staff, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the response rate as “moderately low.”
“This tells me two things: first - that we still have a long way to go before we are able to fully and openly discuss sexual harassment; and second - that there may also be an ongoing sense of mistrust, perceptions of inaction and lack of accountability,” he wrote.
The survey comes amid the wider “Me Too” movement around the world against sexual harassment and assault.
According to the report, 21.7 percent of respondents said they were subjected to sexual stories or offensive jokes, 14.2 percent received offensive remarks about their appearance, body or sexual activities and 13 percent were targeted by unwelcome attempts to draw them into a discussion on sexual matters.
Reuters on the ongoing (non-)efforts of the UN system to deal with #AidToo...

UN Lambasted on High-Level Appointments

The world’s developing countries, comprising over two-thirds of the 193 UN member states, are complaining they are not being adequately represented in the higher echelons of the world body –- despite competent candidates with strong professional and academic qualifications vying for these jobs.
The 134-member Group of 77, the largest single coalition of developing countries, says “persistent imbalances in equitable geographic representation in the UN Secretariat are a major concern.”
While the UN is being commended for ensuring equitable representation of women in recent years, it still stands accused of neglecting qualified nationals of developing countries, including from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.
The high-level jobs go mostly to nationals of either Western nations, big donors or the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (P-5), namely, the US, UK, France, Russia and China.
“Every Secretary-General, with no exception, caves into the demands of big powers,” one Asian diplomat told IPS, “These countries think high-ranking UN jobs are their political birthright”.
Thalif Deen for Inter Press Service with a reminder that the global development bureaucracy is not just about a new World Bank president.

Kenya attack: 'Our deaths are displayed for consumption'

The attack wasn't over when the picture of the dead men slumped over the tables in the Nairobi restaurant where they had been having lunch was published.
The decision of a number of US and European outlets - including the UK's MailOnline and Germany's Bild - to use the photograph was instantly condemned on Kenyan social media. The New York Times came in for the most criticism. The newspaper, angry users said, was using the "misery and tragedy" of Tuesday's terror attack on the Dusit hotel for clickbait.
What's more, the speed with which the picture was published meant many were still unaware their loved ones had been caught up in the attack.
Flora Drury for BBC News on the visual fallout of the Nairobi attack.

How Do You Ethically Photograph A Terrorist Attack?
On a personal note, thinking purely as an editor, I could see news value of the photo in question. It’s visceral, disturbing, and heartbreaking. It gives the viewer a sense of being in the room where the horror of yesterday’s attack happened (BRIGHT Magazine’s offices are just a few kilometers away). However, I don’t think I would have run the photo while the attack was still ongoing.
BRIGHT’s visuals editor, Marion Durand, agrees. “As a photo editor, I don’t think we can shy away from images of dead bodies,” she says. “It’s not the answer. You have to show what’s happening. But then there’s the question of timing. You don’t want people to learn of their loved ones being dead via press.”
Yesterday’s attack was a tragedy for Kenya, especially those who lost loved ones. It was also a teachable moment for journalists, and especially editors, who have to make snap decision in the midst of tragic breaking news. How much bloodshed do we show? Do we cover deadly events taking place a world away the same way that we would cover events in our own communities?
Meghan Dhaliwal for Bright Magazine responds to the debate on the NYT photos from the Nairobi attack with personal & professional reflections.

Man accused of shooting down UN chief: ‘Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to…’
Exclusive research reveals that a British-trained Belgian mercenary admitted the killing of Dag Hammarskjöld in 1961
Emma Graham-Harrison for the Guardian also mentions Susan Williams' excellent book, probably my favorite read of 2017.

Destroy ‘period huts’ or forget state support: Nepal moves to end practice

In Dadeldhura district, meanwhile, local government support is now denied to families who keep their daughters out of school during menstruation. The chairperson of the district’s Bhageshwor rural municipality, Kaushila Bhatta, says: “In our area, many girls are not allowed to go to school during their menstruation, which is putting our girls behind. We decided to cut off government services and facilities to those families who stopped their girls going to school during their period.
“This ill-practice has to end soon and we are working on this.”
Ramaroshan rural municipality in Achham district is running a major awareness programme under the banner “Inside chhaupadi, outside god”.
The vice-chairwoman of the municipality, Saraswati Rawal, said: “We are building a big temple in the middle of a village and have asked people to keep their gods respectfully at the temple and let woman and girls stay at home during their period.”
In some parts of Nepal, people think they will be punished by God if women enter the home during menstruation.
“Here, we solved our problem,” says Rawal. “Keep god at the temple, let woman stay at home then god will be happy and women will be safe too.
Rojita Adhikari for the Guardian. From a social and behavior change perspective I'm not entirely convinced that this is best strategy, but it's a start...

Haiti’s Education System Is Broken … By Design

The education system in Haiti is doing exactly what is was designed to do. It creates the atomization of our people, separating us from a common cause and perpetuating exploitation and distrust among Haitians. It has been stripped of the elements once rooted in citizenship, rigor, and high expectations, including removing civics education from the national curriculum and allowing private schools to proliferate with little oversight from the Ministry of Education
Nedgine Paul Deroly for Bright Magazine with an interesting case study about decolonizing education in Haiti.

Conflicted peacekeeping? Severine Autesserre, professor of political science at Columbia University

An old adage has it that councils of war never fight, meaning that decision-makers often get caught up in deliberations rather than making and implementing decisions. That may not be so bad in the case of war, but what about peace? Do the councils of peace or UN peacekeeping operations deliver what they set out to do?
Severine Autesserre for Russia Today (I's complicated) with great insights into her peace research scholarship!

014: Christine Williamson

Perhaps most difficult of all, there are a range of equity and oversight issues that come with shipping expatriate staff into places with weak regulatory systems.
Against this background we talk about:
the importance of a principles-based approach to so-called back-office functions
the duty of care to protect staff physical and psychological health, and how longevity in the sector can be achieved;
safeguarding and abuse, and the efficacy of current initiatives in the sector.
Christine Williamson for Rethinking Fragility. I started to listen to the podcast and it sounded really interesting!

96: How to Get a Job at a Media Platform like Devex w/ Margaret Richardson, Devex [Espresso Shots]

What are the entry-level jobs to look out for in this field
Why emotional intelligence is a critical skill to have for this industry
Why being on a sports team (or another kind of team) is a great life skill
What is the best and worst part of being a Chief of Staff
How to create meaningful connections with your colleagues
Why learning to listen really well is so important in any career
DevEx's Margaret Richardson talks to Andrea Koppel for time4coffee-another interesting podcast!

SDGs and grim global realities

Thirdly, the period of SDGs is also a highly sensitive one when lifethreatening environmental changes like climate change are likely to increase and cause a lot of destruction and distress. This has been well recognised for about three decades, yet the world has badly lagged behind in terms of the steps necessary for checking this. There are powerful forces which are responsible for this and there are also important weaknesses in the efforts. The SGD documents do not tell us how these forces will be challenged, and how these weaknesses will be removed.
As there are no details of any specific initiatives which are significantly different from the earlier efforts that failed, there is no assurance at all that the inequalities (and the huge wasteful consumption which inevitably accompanies big inequalities) will be curbed, and there is even less assurance that the destructive arms proliferation will be checked. Again there is no assurance that climate change will be checked before it is too late and tipping points are reached.
Bharat Dogra for the Statesman with a sobering look at how the SDGs will work in the broader framework of the Anthropocene...

A million migrations: Journeys in search of jobs

Migration for work within India is highly circular, with migrants working in multiple destinations during their lifetimes, and retiring in their native places. As per the Economic Survey of India 2016-17, there are over a hundred million migrant workers in India, of which most are circular migrants. The durations can be as short as a day or a week, in which case they are referred to as commuters, numbering in the tens of millions, who frequently board trains and buses bound toward a nearby town or city.
A few more tens of millions migrate seasonally for work—for a few months of the year, drawn disproportionately from the Scheduled Castes and Tribes and from particular clusters in central India (see map). They work in precarious worksites in sectors ranging from construction and brick kilns to rural harvesting operations.
Chinmay Tumbe for Live Mint with a great overview over India's domestic migrations flows.

Peacemaking and new technologies Dilemmas & options for mediators

Regardless of the development and use of information and communication technologies (ICT), the practice of mediation still relies first and foremost on the trust built between a mediator and conflict parties, and the ability to generate and maintain buy-in to peace processes.
Mediation teams have a responsibility to be generally literate about the technologies present in the mediation environment and their effect on the mediation process, and to make informed choices about their use. At the very least, mediators need to understand the risks associated with these technologies, and how to mitigate them.
The use of ICT should never be assumed to be fully secure.
Several mediators report that accepting the threat of information disclosure through network monitoring by governments is often the only realistic approach.
Joëlle Jenny, Rosi Greenberg, Vincent Lowney and Guy Banim for the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue;
I really don't like to rant, but next time I come across a publication without a landing page I won't include them in my review. I really don't like to go through the full pdf doc for the details I need for my review!

Book Review: Can We Know Better? by Robert Chambers

‘What we can do depends on who we are and where we are. Innumerable small acts mount up and reinforce one another. From whatever we and others do, large and small, we can strive to learn and find better ways of knowing and doing. Ideals like equality, justice, well-being for all and putting the last first will always be there for us to strive towards. As our unforeseeable 21st Century unfolds, it is a privilege to be explorers looking for good ways forward. The enthralling adventures of our human struggle to know better and do better should have no end.’
Duncan Green for fp2p reviews Robert Chambers' latest book-a great way to boost your 2019 reading list!

Creative Economy Outlook: Trends in international trade in creative industries

Creative work promotes fundamental rights, such as respect for human dignity, equality and democracy, all of which are essential for humans to live together in peace. Its potential to make a significant contribution to the achievement of the sustainable development goals continues to gain international recognition and support.
Whether it be arts and crafts, books, films, paintings, festivals, songs, designs, digital animation or video games, the creative industries are more than just sectors with good economic growth performance and potential. They are expressions of the human imagination spreading important social and cultural values.
This report outlines trends in the world trade of creative goods and, for the first time, services by country for the period 2005 to 2014, and provides an outlook on the global creative economy for the period 2002 to 2015.
UNCTAD's publication page is also nothing to brag about (like most UN organization's pages...), but their latest report is worth having a look at...

Violence in African elections: between democracy and Big Man politics

Multiparty elections have become the bellwether by which all democracies are judged, and the spread of these systems across Africa has been widely hailed as a sign of the continent’s progress towards stability and prosperity. But such elections bring their own challenges, particularly the often intense internecine violence following disputed results.While the consequences of such violence can be profound, undermining the legitimacy of the democratic process and in some cases plunging countries into civil war or renewed dictatorship, little is known about the causes.
By mapping, analysing and comparing instances of election violence in different localities across Africa – including Kenya, Ivory Coast and Uganda – this collection of detailed case studies sheds light on the underlying dynamics and sub-national causes behind electoral conflicts, revealing them to be the result of a complex interplay between democratisation and the older, patronage-based system of ‘Big Man’ politics.
Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs & Jesper Bjarnesen with some interesting, open access background reading on African politics.



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