Links & Contents I Liked 423

Hi all,

I will keep it short & sweet today-so happy #globaldev reading from/about Taliban, Tanzania, Libya, Yemen, Germany, China & more!

My quotes of the week
The carbon footprints of the richest 1 percent of people on Earth is set to be 30 times greater than the level compatible with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement in 2030
(Carbon emissions of richest 1% set to be 30 times the 1.5°C limit in 2030)

Informed analysis has been hard to come by in the Yemen humanitarian response, which is marred by a willingness to tolerate partial data that is often biased, usually out of date and lacks nuance, all of which has made it easy to manipulate or ignore to suit priorities. An inflexible security framework, which prevents aid workers from engaging in the fieldwork needed to gain a true understanding of the operational environment, assess needs and determine what is required to resolve them, has allowed this flawed data to stand.
(When Aid Goes Awry: How the International Humanitarian Response is Failing Yemen)

Development news
Carbon emissions of richest 1% set to be 30 times the 1.5°C limit in 2030
The carbon footprints of the richest 1 percent of people on Earth is set to be 30 times greater than the level compatible with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement in 2030, according to new research out today.
Oxfam puts the capitalist roots of the climate crisis into perspective.

Elon Musk-WFP Twitter 'feud' raises accountability questions
However, Soskis said, while he didn’t believe that Musk was in any way passionate about accountability, his engagement with WFP could ultimately be helpful for elevating conversations between donors and organizations about transparency and accountability on assessing costs and how money is spent.
This is an era where take-charge funders like Musk are more likely to go over the heads of their press teams and respond directly to funding requests, Soskis said.
Soskis also said that now that Musk has “won” the public debate, “I would not be surprised if he eventually makes a gift.”
Stephanie Beasley & Shabtai Gold for DevEx summarize this week's hottest debate on 'the Internet'...
Inside the World’s Most Blatant Covid-19 Coverup: Secret Burials, a Dead President
Seeking to keep the economy open and rally nationalist sentiment ahead of elections, he blocked foreign journalists from entering the country, rejected vaccines and refused to provide data to the World Health Organization. News organizations reporting on Covid-19 were shut down for “scaremongering,” and reporters threatened with jail.
By this spring, the president was dead, along with six other senior politicians and several of the country’s generals. The official cause of Mr. Magufuli’s death was heart failure. The details remain secret. Diplomats, analysts and opposition leaders say he had Covid-19.
Joe Parkinson for the Wall Street Journal takes a closer look at one of those Covid stories that seems almost forgotten by now & a long time ago...

Rival Claims to Afghanistan’s UN Seat Pose Dilemma for the World
In a rare instance of unity, China, Europe, Russia, and the U.S. are roughly on the same page on the question of recognition, even though they differ on their priorities in Afghanistan. China and Russia are more intent on stopping the drug trade and combatting terrorism, while Sweden and the U.S. place more emphasis on human rights. “Nobody is in a hurry to recognize,” Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Oct. 29. “The question of recognition will arise when the international community makes sure that the promises and commitments that the [Taliban] authorities announced will be delivered.”
David Wainer for Bloomberg with some diplomatic challenges for those interested in UN politics.

Administrator Samantha Power on a new vision for global development
At USAID, in addition to a 25 percent target of our assistance going to local partners, today I’m announcing that by the end of the decade, 50 percent of our programming, at least half of every dollar we spend, will need to place local communities in the lead to either co-design a project, set priorities, drive implementation, or evaluate the impact of our programs.
USAID's commitment to localizing efforts has gained a lot of attention, but as always the question remains whether it will be a real power shift or business with localized fronts of the beltway consultancies...

How migrants and asylum seekers in Libya lost faith in foreign aid
By sleeping in front of a UNHCR-run building, people hope they will be protected from further raids, but they have also lost faith in the international organisations providing aid to them in Libya, which they see as a temporary, ineffective bandage to a problem that needs a holistic solution. Refugees are demanding – and many will accept nothing less than – immediate evacuation from Libya to European countries, saying they cannot be safe here.
UN-organised evacuation and repatriation flights from Libya to African countries recently resumed after being suspended by Libyan authorities in August. But the flights are still infrequent, and for those who cannot (or do not wish to) return to their countries of origin – or be sent to wait for some unknown future in another African country – there are no clear solutions.
Almoatassam Senoussi for the New Humanitarian with a first-hand account from Tripolis.

When Aid Goes Awry: How the International Humanitarian Response is Failing Yemen
Many humanitarians have gone into Yemen and come out frustrated and angry, citing an inflexible, inefficient and inappropriate system of aid delivery. The 73 humanitarian aid workers, analysts and experts, donors, civil society representatives and others interviewed as part of this research all questioned whether humanitarian aid alone, without peace and/or directly addressing root causes of Yemen’s situation, is an appropriate response for Yemen.
Sarah Vuylsteke for the Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies with an important report on the humanitarian 'response' in Yemen.

How the structure of global aid and development finance is changing
Development activities continue to remain highly fragmented with the average size of official loans or grants reducing by one-third in value over the last 20 years. Fragmentation is mostly concentrated in the social sectors and in bilateral activities. ODA grants, which dominate the number of transactions, saw a halving of average size from $1.5 million in 2000 to $0.8 million in 2019.
As the world’s most vulnerable people seek to recover from this crisis, three sets of emerging issues would benefit from additional research: the impact of proliferation and fragmentation on aid effectiveness; an analysis of the growing volume of aid beyond the country level; and the evolution of the concessionality of official finance.
Akihiko Nishio & Gaiv Tata for Brookings with new research.
Advancing horizontal solidarity or long-term profit? The messy politics behind the German business sector response to refugee integration
Overall, locally at least, the business sector can be an important partner for humanitarian and development endeavours. In my project, I focused the empirical work on labour market integration and the businesses that were specifically involved in such integration within Wir Zusammen. Some companies who became part of the network provided a different and, in my view, more problematic response. These companies focused on the immediate humanitarian emergency and provided refugees with for example, IT devices – made by their companies with their company software, thus providing brand placements and arguably dependency together with free publicity as good corporate citizens. I more generally argue, in line with some of the literature critical of corporate sector engagement in humanitarian or development endeavours, that it is mainly a localised response that engages with local understandings and needs but also aspirations of those who were assisted where the corporate sector can be a force for good.
Tanja Mueller shares interesting research findings, linking 'global' debates around corporate humanitarianism to empirical research in Germany.

Our digital lives
She drew millions of TikTok followers by selling a fantasy of rural China. Then politics intervened
In China, she embodies a romanticized and timeless past, unburdened by history. “She’s creating this utopian idea of the countryside if we could ignore industrialization, Maoism and the Great Leap Forward, opening up and reform, the countryside brain drain,” said Morris.
Yi-Ling Liu for Rest of World with great reporting on the morphing of platform-propaganda-capitalism power in China.

ALLY Research Paper: Peace, My Heart
The study marks the first comprehensive analysis of youth-led peacebuilding specific to the South Asia region, as understood f rom the perspective of youth peacebui lder s (YPBs ). Car r ied out as a participatory action research process in which YPBs were the key informants, analysists and authors, this report offers a practitioner's view of youth-led peacebuilding in a complex and fragmented region, where violent extremism (VE) has long been an issue.
Mridul Upadhyay, Felix Bivens, Kaush Weerakoon, Sameer Yadav, Shafaq Sarfraz, M. Rezwanur Rahman, Sumaiya Tanim, Janith Perera, Muhammad Salal, & Ritu Jain for the United Network of Young Peacebuilders with a new resource.

Sustainability: Going Beyond The Buzzword
This paper aims to trace the social construct of sustainability in the context of media development and define what is to be sustained, at the level of the intervention (the process of change) or its outcome (the impact on the medium itself ). It is intended for all those who are concerned, closely or remotely, with ‘media action’ – and this expression is used here to mean any intervention (inside or outside a given media system) that promotes either communication for social change (the use of media for development purposes) or media development (the targeted development of independent outlets).
Michel Leroy for the Forum Media and Development & MEDAS 21 with a great conceptual review of 'sustainability' in the context of media & #globaldev.

Platforms and Institutions in the Post-Pandemic University: a Case Study of Social Media and the Impact Agenda
In this paper, we argue that digital platforms play an important role within higher education, not least of all when Covid-19 has made remote working the norm. An increasingly rich field of theoretical and empirical work has helped us understand platforms as socio-technical infrastructures which shape the activity of their users. Their insertion into higher education raises urgent institutional questions which necessitate dispensing with the individualised mode of analysis and instrumentalised conception of technology which often accompany these topics.
Mark Carrigan & Katy Jordan with a new open access article in Postdigital Science and Education; really interesting food for thought for digital research & teaching nerds...

What we were reading 5 years ago

(Link review 213, 23 December 2016)

The corporatization of aid enables greedy consultants and high executive salaries
It is exactly the managerial culture, introduced to the public domain since the 1980s and commonly referred to as ‘neoliberalism’ that has enabled very high, sometimes excessive pay packages in what used to be (quasi-) public sector organizations.
The argument is usually the same: The organization needs ‘the best’ leader and since all great managers would otherwise be offered positions in the private sector, charities (or universities, health providers,...) need to offer matching pay packages. And, voila, the usually white, male, middle-aged elites can now effortlessly move across institutions and are always guaranteed a ‘competitive’ salary.
Me, ranting a bit...

Doing development differently: who we are, what we're doing and what we're learning
This document aims to be an entry point for anyone interested in doing development differently. It explores the things that could be stopping you, including:
You are constrained by a disabling environment.
You have strict reporting requirements.
People aren't sold on the idea.
It's easier to do things the way you've always done it.
It's difficult to do in practice.
If you are facing one, several, or all of these constraints, this document gives you a place to start. Using 43 case studies from practitoners within donors, governments, implementing organisations and NGOs across the globe, we aim to draw out some key lessons learnt, and give some advice for people considering this approach.
Leni Wild, Matt Andrews, David Booth, Craig Valters & Helen Dempster with a little bit of #globaldev history.


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