My development blogging year 2018 in review

I will keep my blogging review of 2018 a bit shorter than in previous years, e.g. 2017, 2016 or 2015.
That’s mainly because two of my blog posts this year already addressed broader questions of development blogging, writing and curating in more general terms:

So is development blogging dead then – and is it about shorter attention spans, the rise of videos or podcasts - or perhaps something about men?
I asked in The development blogging crisis (January 2018). And by-way of celebrating my 300th link review I reflected on My key learnings about #globaldev 20 years after I took my first undergrad course (November 2018).

I also looked at the top blog posts and book reviews for 2018 and I think that they quite nicely represent some of the bigger debates the #globaldev community grappled with last year.

My top 5 new blog posts in 2018
The Office meets global politics: New sitcom on life inside the United Nations (March 2018)

I caught up with the creators of The Mission Marie-Marguerite Sabongui and Benedict Moran via Zoom in Istanbul to learn more about their UN sitcom project.
We discussed how to communicate development and international politics issues differently in an age of new TV platforms, satirical commentary as edutainment and what could be the beginning of a global movement of creative talent taking on the absurdities of the aid industry.
This is a bit of a surprise, but it seems to indicate that the aid industry is definitely ready for their own version of The Office!

Oxfam, Haiti & the aid industry's #MeToo moment-a curated bibliography (February 2018)
2018 was the year of #AidToo and my curated link collection has proven to be an important resource to look at the beginnings of the movement when the Oxfam scandal broke.

Dear Colonialism - guest post by Ami V. Shah (May 2018)

Dear Colonialism,
I’m writing a letter to you, because I’m not sure you’ll listen when I talk. You claim that you want to come back to my house, and that in fact, your visit will be good for me. Dear colonialism, I do not agree.
Especially since you have yet to leave my house.
Thanks you Ami Shah for your amazing guest post!
De-colonizing development and academia was definitely an important discussion in 2018-and was rather the beginning!

Should aid workers fly less? Yes, but it’s a bit more complicated
(October 2018)

I generally agree with her sentiment to fly less, have tougher discussions within aid organizations about (air) travel and be the change they want to see from other actors. But as basically everything else in #globaldev, things are a bit more complicated...
A classic aid worker conundrum-and a reminder that many debates in development are not as black or white as thy may seem at first…

Dear ICRC: We need to talk about Nas Daily & “the most undiscovered country” (December 2018)
At the end of the video I am left confused: Clearly Nas Daily had a great time in Papua New Guinea. But what am I supposed to do now?
Give money to ICRC? Travel to the island? Remain in my ‘humans of late capitalism’ bubble of exploration, travel and happiness?
You do amazing work, ICRC!
You can do so much better than relying on social media influencers and going down an exoticizing path that seems problematic to say the least in these decolonial times!
The video is gone, some damage is done and the question remains of how to do storytelling, celebrity engagement and viral videos with a message well!

My top 3 book reviews

Learning service-The essential guide for volunteering abroad
(Claire Bennett, Joseph Collins, Zahara Heckscher & Daniela Papi-Thornton)
Doing volunteering well remains a hot topic…

A Destiny in the making: From Wall Street to UNICEF in Africa (Boudewijn Mohr)
This one is a bit surprising, but I’m glad that my reviews of aid worker memoirs are getting some traction!

Psychosocial Support for Humanitarian Aid Workers: A Roadmap of Trauma and Critical Incident Care (Fiona Dunkley)
An important book for discussions around humanitarian and aid worker mental health-another important topic in 2018 in connection with #AidToo!


Popular posts from this blog

Links & Contents I Liked 500

The visible lessons of Invisible Children- #globaldev critique in the viral age (in response to Paul Currion)

Happy retirement Duncan Green!

Should I consider a PhD in International Development Studies?

Dear white middle class British women: Please don't send used bras (or anything, really) to Africa