Links & Contents I Liked 418

Hi all,

I hope you are still holding up your good spirits! It's International Coffee Day today & things are looking not too bad-so let's wrap up the week with a heartwarming story that involves snow & a dog before we move to the serious #globaldev stuff...
My quotes of the week
"What happened to you should never happen to anyone. It is inexcusable. It is my top priority to ensure that the perpetrators are not excused but are held to account," he said, promising further steps including "wholesale reform of our structures and culture". (WHO employees took part in Congo sex abuse during Ebola crisis, report says)

This gives the Middle East camp-like features, where mixed groups of refugees and migrants subsist on humanitarian aid, with restrictions on mobility in “host states” and internationally, across regions and divides. This represents a move from Africa termed a ʻcontinent of campsʼ, to the Middle East region as a new ʻcontinent as campʼ. In this way, continental encampment is an inevitable result of preventing refugees and migrants from reaching Europe and makes humanitarian containment a new type of ʻdurable solutionʼ to mass migration in the form of a regional Supercamp.
(Supercamp: The Middle East as a Regional Zone of Containment)

Development news

WHO employees took part in Congo sex abuse during Ebola crisis, report says
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has pledged zero tolerance on sexual abuse and is said to be seeking a second term at the United Nations health body, said the report made "harrowing reading" and apologised to the victims.
"What happened to you should never happen to anyone. It is inexcusable. It is my top priority to ensure that the perpetrators are not excused but are held to account," he said, promising further steps including "wholesale reform of our structures and culture".
Regional director Matshidiso Moeti said the health body was "humbled, horrified and heartbroken" by the findings. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' spokesperson also apologised and thanked victims for their courage in testifying.
Emma Farge & Hereward Holland for Reuters; it was actually joint Thomson-Reuters/New Humanitarian reporting that started the whole investigation...let's see what will happen next; the full report is available as well.
A Racial Reckoning at Doctors Without Borders
we talk about what can change in humanitarian aid. Govender is part of a group of current and former MSF workers called Decolonize MSF. While she and others are pushing the organization to commit to changes that address racial inequities, some are skeptical about what will actually change.
The team from Reveal with a podcast (+ transcript) that among other things features a new report based on a staff survey; Dignity at MSF is available on a dedicated website.

Not 'useful': Latest UK aid statistics disappoint observers
“We still do not have a complete picture of the specific cuts. And we will be in the same position next year when the new 0.5% target is reported on [in the Statistics on International Development publication], because it still won’t show the cuts that were made, and we do not know what the government intended to spend as a baseline before the cuts were made,” said Abigael Baldoumas, policy and advocacy manager for aid effectiveness at Bond.
William Worley for DevEx has become one of the leading chroniclers of the spectacular fall of UK Aid...

A new four-point plan to reform humanitarian aid
While there’s agreement that reform is needed, getting there won’t be easy. Some suggestions make humanitarian responders and donors nervous. “The sector has spent the past three decades… improving its direct delivery,” remarked Saez. “And now we're asking the sector to basically stop and rethink: what is actually your unique added value as an international organisation… The time is now for international actors to have a bit of rethink as to what their role should be.”
One way Oxfam GB has tried to accelerate reforms is by changing key performance indicators to include the quality of funding to local partners – whether it is long-term and flexible. “Eventually, that's the sort of stuff that I hope will have more profound implications,” Sriskandarajah said. “It's just not going to be particularly visible, and it's not going to happen overnight.”
Jessica Alexander for the New Humanitarian engages with a new work from CGD on one of the evergreen topics of the #globaldev: How to reform humanitarian aid...

‘The Activist’ reality TV show sparked furor, but treating causes as commodities with help from celebrities happens all the time
That a major broadcaster would expect a show linking celebrities and activism to garner viewers and that the concept would implode didn’t surprise us. We research what happens when celebrities get involved in activism in tandem with corporations. Quite often we find that while celebrities may be well-intentioned in their efforts, the machinery behind their activism may undermine the causes it purports to support.
Alexandra Budabin & Lisa Richey for the Conversation with some broader context on the debates around The Activist, the cancelled & widely criticized TV show.

The Khalid Payenda Interview (1): An insider’s view of politicking, graft and the fall of the Republic
What was it like to be a reformer at the heart of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan? The Republic’s last finance minister, Khalid Payenda, has given AAN an insider’s perspective. It is a sobering account of the obstacles that prevented him and other reformers ending government corruption and holding wrongdoers to account.
Kate Clark & Roxanna Shapour for the Afghanistan Analysts Network with a fascinating long-read/interview.

‘Ecofeminism is about respect’: the activist working to revolutionise west African farming
Senegal’s agricultural policies support large- and small-scale farming, but there is little or no government support for ecological agriculture, says Sonko. The UN food systems summit this week is unlikely to help her cause. Civil society groups have already threatened to boycott the global meeting, accusing organisers of prioritising the interests of big corporations and sidelining small-scale farmers.
“The general concerns that are addressed are the concerns of the multinational corporations,” she says. “They should not favour them at the cost of others who have less money, like small farmers such as us.”
Sonko is also on a mission to change attitudes towards women at home. “When I was small, I saw my mother woke up at 5am and went to sleep at 11pm,” she says. “It’s too much. When I became a mother, I changed that. The women were doing so much housework. When I [married], my husband already had sons. I taught them how to do housework, too. They do it alongside the girls.
Ricci Shryock for the Guardian reporting from Senegal.

Supercamp: The Middle East as a Regional Zone of Containment
This gives the Middle East camp-like features, where mixed groups of refugees and migrants subsist on humanitarian aid, with restrictions on mobility in “host states” and internationally, across regions and divides. This represents a move from Africa termed a ʻcontinent of campsʼ, to the Middle East region as a new ʻcontinent as campʼ. In this way, continental encampment is an inevitable result of preventing refugees and migrants from reaching Europe and makes humanitarian containment a new type of ʻdurable solutionʼ to mass migration in the form of a regional Supercamp.
Are John Knudsen & Kjersti G. Berg with a new report from the Chr. Michelsen Institute and lots of food for thought of 'regions as camps'...

Decolonisation and Locally Led Development – Are We Brave Enough?
They have framed it as a “two-handed pathway to change: yielding and wielding power”. There are specific suggestions, which were refined during two workshops: one with ANGOs and one with Pacific Islanders, that delve into the heart of what lies ahead: “what work do white organisations and staff need to do internally, with and for themselves, to consider their own historical, positional and racial power?” The document also clarifies the discomfort that will be felt for those stepping into wielding power.
Kate Angus for the Australian Council for International Development introduces a new discussion paper.

Reflecting on 1,000 columns over 20 years: the predictions that came true
Over the past 20 years, a recurring theme of the columns, that of a triple paradigm crisis for economy, environment and security, has increased in potency, and there is more to explore. There is much welcome new thinking across the Global North and South, and some of it is examined in more detail in the new edition of ‘Losing Control’.
Paul Rogers for openDemocracy reflects on writing his regular column for openDemocracy & his new edition of Losing Control is on my reading list, of course!

Center for Transformational Change
Building just futures through community leadership and narrative power.
Great to see that Lina Srivastava is up to new challenges & disruptions!

Publications

Origins, Evolution and Future of Global Development Cooperation-The Role of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC)
Since its foundation in 1961, the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) – nerve centre of the aid effort of the “rich” countries – has played a central role in the PostWar aid system. This book traces the history of the institution and reflects on its future. How intense diplomacy led to the creation of the OECD itself and the DAC is disclosed here for the first time. How the DAC works, how it shaped development finance by defining and measuring Official Development Assistance (ODA), and how it has pursued its founding mission to increase the volume and effectiveness of aid, are key to the story.
Gerardo Bracho Richard Carey William Hynes Stephan Klingebiel Alexandra Trzeciak-Duval for the German Development Institute (DIE); this is an impressive 630-page (!) report/open access book for real #globaldev history nerds and I look forward to take a closer look soon...

Leadership for Volunteering: The Covid-19 Experience
A key feature of the VLO strategic response to the pandemic has been the growth of partnerships and coalitions between VLOs and their stakeholders, both existing and new. Where these pre-date COVID-19, they have been reconfigured to meet the demands of the pandemic.
Jacob Mwathi Mati, Cliff Allum, Helene Perold, Benjamin J. Lough & Rebecca Tiessen for the International Association for Volunteer Effort...pet peeves: The landing page doesn't highlight actual key findings, I need to register to download the pdf report & then I need to scroll through 11 pages of useless prefaces before the report starts...it's an important pieces of research, but I was close to simply close the tab & move on...
Whose voice matters in the teaching and learning of IPE? Implications for policy and policy making
We find that scholars based outside of the Euro-West are marginal, while those based in the Euro-West continue to be dominant – in all the assessed course offerings. We also find that female voices are marginal, in all locations. Knowledge production systems privilege Euro-Western male voices and perspectives, furthering a process of systemic cognitive and epistemic injustices. Building upon our analysis of teaching and learning content, this article critically reflects on the implications of when IPE meets policy, and offers avenues for the policy engagement to avoid the same processes of privileging and marginalizing, and thereby better situating policy making to avoid repeating failures resulting from the identified entrenched biases.
Logan Cochrane & Samuel O. Oloruntoba with new open access article for Policy and Society.

Academia
Podcasting as a means of teaching and researching contemporary humanitarians
Podcasting was relevant to the course because it enabled students to collect information on the ‘humanitarian response’ (from state and non-state actors) to the coronavirus pandemic and to develop their analytical skills through preparing interview questions, a framing introduction and a synthesis. It also enabled students to develop their research and networking skills, to reach out to experts, activists and professionals whose experiences and perspectives they sought to better understand and to work and think with material they had collected themselves. This initiative was intended to encourage them to work on their oral skills, engage with their peers and undertake collaborative work. But most importantly, podcasting offered them a unique opportunity to engage in the practical application of their research and communicate it to a non-specialist audience.
Julie Billaud for the Graduate Institute on using podcasting as a teaching tool during the pandemic.

A Teenager on TikTok disrupted thousands of scientific studies with a single video
That video got 4.1 million views in the month after it was posted and sent tens of thousands of new users flooding to the Prolific platform. Prolific, a tool for scientists conducting behavioral research, had no free screening tools in place to make sure that it delivered representative population samples to each study. Suddenly, scientists used to getting a wide mix of subjects for their Prolific studies saw their surveys flooded with responses from young women around Frank’s age.
For researchers who rely on representative samples of the US population, that demographic shift was a major problem with no obvious cause and no immediately clear way to fix.
Rafi Letzter for the Verge; it sounds like a funny story about 'breaking the Internet', but the bigger issue that many researchers rely (too much?) on survey and/or micro-tasking platforms to collect data for their projects.

What we were reading 4 years ago
(Link review 208, 18 November 2016)

This is the place to be (book review)
We always have more than one identity and one ‘truth’ that holds together our life ‘projects’.
Lara presents these all-too familiar tensions in her book and leaves us with the difficult task to then think for ourselves-which is always a good indicator for a book worth reading.
Me, fondly remembering a great book I read...

Media, participation and social inclusion: what are the links?
This research raises a number of interesting questions. How does media affect the responsiveness of governments to the demands of increasingly politically active citizens? How does media influence the social norms associated with political participation – such as the entrenched barriers faced by women and young people? How do these trends play out across different regions? Which types of programme are best at motivating which types of political participation? And what can we do to close that gender gap?
Chris Snow for BBC Media Action raised some questions in 2016 that still keep the media development industry awake at night...

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