Showing posts from September, 2020

Links & Contents I Liked 377

Hi all, Did you have enough Zoom meetings this week? Yeah, me too... Before I'm logging off for the weekend I'm happy to share some great #globaldev readings, as always! Enjoy & stay healthy! My quotes of the week Earlier this year I moved on from covering Syria after eight years of reporting on the conflict and am haunted by those stories I never told. Journalists know that not all reporting can make it onto the printed page but those untold stories can feel like an unpaid debt. Underlying this guilt is the overwhelming sense of failure that even those that made it onto the printed page have done little to change the course of the conflict or even alleviate the suffering.But war is about more than stories of loss. Like the absurdity and moments of black humor that perhaps surprisingly punctuate warzones but don’t usually get relayed because it might seem disrespectful. Or remembering those who helped us reporters do our jobs in a country that has been one of the most inho

People in Glass Houses (book review)

The 2020 UN General Assembly has just kicked off, marking a key highlight of the UN@75 year of celebration. This is the perfect time to share my review of Shirley Hazzard’s People in Glass Houses , the best book about the United Nations I have ever read. It started with a simple Tweet by writer Petina Gappah and over the summer I read Hazzard’s book based on her essays published in the New Yorker between 1964 and 1967. Yes, you read that right: Hazzard’s book, more a collection of loosely connected short stories than ‘a novel’ as the subtitle claims, is more than 50 years old. But what makes People in Glass Houses such a stellar literary contribution is that the poignant observations she shares through her stories are all but historical. Her observations on the human condition of bureaucratic ordering are timeless. These profound insights that the UN is unchangeable, that it is not a lack of money or the wrong state being in charge of a committee and that the promotion of a bright mi

Links & Contents I Liked 376

Hi all,  It was a very intensive week so I'm lacking the energy for a witty introduction right now... Enjoy! My quotes of the week The real story is that places like Vietnam and Mongolia have completely kicked COVID-19’s ass. The real story is that places like Rwanda and Ghana have innovated and survived. There are countless stories like this — from Sri Lanka to Trinidad & Tobago, but you wouldn’t know because we’re not rich or white. But you should know. Because we’re right. This information could save your life. (The Overwhelming Racism Of COVID Coverage) Biometrics may close the gap between an ID and its holder, but it opens a gulf between streamlined bureaucracies and people’s messy lives, their constrained choices, their survival strategies, their hopes for a better future, none of which can be captured on a digital scanner or encoded into a database. (Machine-Readable Refugees) “I have made countless decisions in this vein – from Iraq to Indonesia, from Italy to El Salvad

Links & Contents I Liked 375

Hi all,  Welcome back! Link review #375 is another (smaller) milestone in my regular curation efforts & I hope you have a great weekend and time to enjoy some critical #globaldev readings! Enjoy! My quotes of the week Dos and don’ts for international development partnerships DO – Be crystal clear about what impact you aim to achieve. DO – Work with a stakeholder map. DO – Build trust. DO – Be transparent about the type of partnership you have. DO – Be realistic about the challenges you may face. DON’T – Don’t determine your impact goals through partnership processes. DON’T – Don’t partner if you believe you can go it all alone. DON’T – Don’t manipulate, bluff, or overpromise. DON’T – Don’t partner just because everyone else does. DON’T – Don’t set up your staff for failure. (International Development Partnerships – Dos and Don’ts) One lightbulb moment was when one of the staff involved in lobbying with politicians gently pointed out that evidence actually isn’t that important in

Links & Contents I Liked 374

Hi all, The first week of term kicked off with about 150 new & returning students, but there was still time to collect a few interesting readings this week as well... My quotes of the week “Huge swaths of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they believe to be unnecessary. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it,” he told the Guardian in 2015 – even admitting that his own work could be meaningless: “There can be no objective measure of social value.” (David Graeber, anthropologist and author of Bullshit Jobs, dies aged 59) The Haiti Community Foundation’s comprehensive, inclusive and bottom-up community planning process generated unprecedented community response, support and engagement because of its passionate emphasis on, and its deep investment in, the power of local communities and their leaders. In so m