Showing posts from July, 2019

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

I am supposed to be on my summer blogging break , but the world of bad development does not seem to take a vacation... The first time I came across the #SWEDOW (Stuff We Don't Want) debate about what to do with unwanted stuff and whether to send it to 'Africa' was in 2010; in fact, I wrote about a shoe donation project on the blog in 2012. Fast forward to July 2019 and a local British Women's Institute Facebook page with about 500 page likes is posting a picture of two innocent-looking parcels that has been shared very widely. The vast majority of the 500+ comments under the post are positive and I am sure that both charities will receive quite a few parcels in the next few days. It seems almost futile and pointing out bad examples of charity and development is not always the best way to communicate, but I anonymize the post as much as possible to avoid simply shaming a particular Women's Institute chapter. 'Rapey men here are the same as rapey men t

Summer Break 2019 + Links & Contents I Liked 332

Hi all, Following my first blogging summer break last year , Aidnography will take a break until about mid-August again. My final post consists of two part, first some new #globaldev Links I Liked that actually address topics that will still be relevant in a month's time and then a quick review of some of my key posts from the first half of 2019 as well as a few book recommendations for your summer reading list! Enjoy! New from aidnography Who Owns England? (Book review) Shrubsole’s book is not just an interesting case study of English history and contemporary conditions under the ‘neoliberal’ condition. Questions about land ownership are playing an important role when we discuss sustainable development. After the initial excitement the debates on ‘land grabbing’ in the global South seem to have lost a little bit of momentum, but ownership of agricultural land, land for infrastructure developments or for a new middle class of home owners are not just discussion for the form

Who Owns England? (Book review)

It has been quite a while since I shared a review of a book that is not directly related to international development. But Guy Shrubsole’s Who Owns England? How We Lost Our Green & Pleasant Land & How To Take It Back makes for a great exception-especially as some readers may still be compiling their summer reading lists. One of the reasons I enjoyed his book so much is that content and form align really well. The topic of English landownership is timely and important and Shrubsole manages really well to take the more technical task of measuring land ownership across different ownership groups to the next level by presenting an engaging narrative full of small details and big numbers, woven into a text that combines research, journalism and activism very well. Little has changed since the days of the Domesday Book Right from the start we are reminded that the history of landownership is not simply about abstract, technical or physical transactions, but opens up deep-rooted