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Hi all,

From paying for the impact of climate change to riding a bike, demanding better disability policies, striking for higher wages, conducting historical research or improving formal employment-this week's newsletter is all about (challenging) inequalities!

Enjoy!

My quotes of the week
When we hope that funding for loss and damage comes through, it can’t be loans that these countries will go and borrow at market rates, to deal with a problem that they did not cause. A significant portion of those funds have to be in the form of grants because that’s the only way we can see a real compensatory mechanism put in place. (Caribbean countries forced to borrow to pay for climate change damage)

Even without the hashtag, the idea of catering to donors as a guiding philosophy has been pervasive and often goes unquestioned. It involves centering the happiness, desires, and convenience of donors, especially major donors. Over time, it becomes the air that many fundraisers breathe. Many internalize it to the point where they are unable to see the unintended destructive consequences of this form of donor engagement. Then, we pass it on, training fundraisers to act and think a certain way while simultaneously shaping and conditioning donors’ expectations, thus creating a self-reinforcing cycle. (We need to have a serious conversation about “Donor Love.”)

Development news
Somalis in crowded camps on ‘brink of death’ as drought worsens
Somalia’s displacement camps are coming under intense pressure with more than 300,000 people leaving their homes in search of food and water so far this year as the country experiences its worst drought in decades.
Kaamil Ahmed & Moulid Hujale for the Guardian; coincidentally, the W'hat we were reading 5 years ago' section at the end includes an article about a white saviour campaign in the context of Somalia...




Ethiopia: Tigrayan forces murder, rape and pillage in attacks on civilians in Amhara towns
The looting and damage to medical facilities made it impossible for rape survivors and other residents in need of medical care to obtain treatment locally, forcing them to wait until they could reach hospitals in Debark, Gondar and Bahir Dar weeks later. For rape survivors, this was far too late to receive crucial post-rape care, some of which needs to be administered within 72 hours.
Amnesty International with a new, harrowing report from Ethiopia which is also a powerful case study of how their Crisis Evidence Lab works.

Caribbean countries forced to borrow to pay for climate change damage
When we hope that funding for loss and damage comes through, it can’t be loans that these countries will go and borrow at market rates, to deal with a problem that they did not cause. A significant portion of those funds have to be in the form of grants because that’s the only way we can see a real compensatory mechanism put in place.”
(...)
“We don’t have time, our countries are being continuously ravaged and our debt burden is increasing…how do we cause these countries to get access to finance now so that they don’t have to go borrowing more money to respond to issues which they are doing almost on a daily basis?”
Alina Doodnath for Loop News documents an interesting speech by James Fletcher.

Haitian garment workers protest to demand higher wages
Workers are seeking a raise that would take their daily wage to 1,500 gourdes (USD 15), from the current wage of 500 gourdes (USD 5), union leader Dominique St Eloi said in a telephone interview.
"With 500 gourdes per day, without any government subsidies, we cannot meet our needs while the price of basic goods, transport costs have increased," said St Eloi, coordinator for the National Union of Haitian Workers.
Ralph Tedy Erol & Gessika Thomas for Today on the current protests in Haiti.

Why formal employment is not a guaranteed path to social equality
Getting a formal sector job is not on its own going to create greater social equality. Workers need a living wage and an environment in which rights are protected and enforced.
This requires both strong state enforcement and the organisation of workers.
Declining rates of unionistation among workers is a result of the increasing precarious nature of work, and the limited responses that unions have had to this.
However, workers are not waiting for unions to come and organise them and have taken the initiative to organise themselves in a variety of sectors and, in many cases, are successfully winning their demands.
Yet, such workers formations are excluded from the labour institutions. One advance that could be made in promoting social justice through formal employment would be to recognise all forms of worker organisation, and afford them greater rights in protecting and advancing worker rights.
Carin Runciman for the Conversation sharing insights into her research on the complexities of 'formal employment' as a path to reduce inequalities.

Egypt’s patriarchy says women don’t ride bikes. These women disagree.
Kinias credits some of this change to digital activism, which allows women more opportunities to both learn about and advocate for their rights. She sees the rise of women cycling as part of this wider trend is hopeful it will continue.
“It has been instilled in the minds of women and girls that they were to blame for their harassment, especially because of the way they dress and interact in public. That included riding bikes in the streets…[but] women and girls are becoming more courageous to ride their bikes, claiming back a right they have been deprived of for many years,” she adds.
Lara Reffat for African Arguments on cycling & freedom in Egypt!

How the Netherlands systematically used extreme violence in Indonesia and concealed this afterwards
Dutch troops used extreme violence such as executions, torture and arson of villages more often than was thought. The violence was systematic and went unchecked. The reason: the war against the Republic of Indonesia had to be won and the Netherlands wanted to be in charge of the decolonisation process, say the researchers.
Linda van Putten for Leiden University with a great overview of an important historical research project at the university.
Give people with disabilities better protection in conflict and crises
When designing inclusive humanitarian responses, it is also important to recognise the full diversity of the disabled community. For example, while it is important for a sexual assault and gender-based violence clinic in a refugee camp to have wheelchair ramp access, this should not be the only requirement. Anyone working at the clinic should be trained on disability rights and prepared to serve people with a range of different disabilities – including physical, sensory, intellectual, and psychosocial impairments. There should be a protocol in place to offer home visits or consultations to people who are unable to access the clinic, as well as informational materials available in multiple formats, including easy read.
Alice Priddy & Benjamin Duerr for the New Humanitarian on the agenda of the Global Disability Summit.

Convoy Occupation's Politics Pose Unique Threat to Disabled People
“I don't think people realize the actual freedoms that disabled people have lost – and many were already underserved and isolated,” she explained.
Examples include closures of amenities, halted deliveries and other services, worsened accessibility issues, delayed and detoured transit, an inability for home care workers to access parts of the city in a timely fashion, isolation and a persistent slew of ableist messaging.
Gabrielle Peters for the Maple reports from Ottawa; important insights on how the occupation is affecting many residents in the Canadian capital, but also powerful reflections that provide a link between 'Northern' & 'Southern' inequalities & how they affect people.

We need to have a serious conversation about “Donor Love.”
Even without the hashtag, the idea of catering to donors as a guiding philosophy has been pervasive and often goes unquestioned. It involves centering the happiness, desires, and convenience of donors, especially major donors. Over time, it becomes the air that many fundraisers breathe. Many internalize it to the point where they are unable to see the unintended destructive consequences of this form of donor engagement. Then, we pass it on, training fundraisers to act and think a certain way while simultaneously shaping and conditioning donors’ expectations, thus creating a self-reinforcing cycle.
Vu Le for Nonprofit AF is as always spot-on!

Our digital lives
Disney is developing planned communities for fans who never want to leave its clutches
With this latest venture, Disney apparently wants to revisit its residential dreams while focusing on the vague and eternally sunny concept of “storytelling.” As the company’s chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D’Amaro, puts it in a blog post, its new communities are all about “expanding storytelling to storyliving” (hence the name.)
James Vincent for the Verge; please, #globaldev communication Gods, never make me read the word 'storyliving' in a celebrity development project!!

My journey down the rabbit hole of every journalist’s favorite app
The privacy policies of transcription apps offer little comfort for the data security-minded.
(...)
“For myself, if I’m doing something really sensitive, I still have a standalone digital recorder that does not connect to the internet,” McGregor said. “But if we care about these things, we have to make laws about them … [because] existing law is outdated, mostly predates the consumer internet and until we update it, then we’re sort of stuck with this patchwork of interpretation based on technologies that were mostly invented in the last century.”
Phelim Kine for Politico; tldr: Don't trust any cloud-based application with your sensitive data...

Publications
I included three great new open access books in my weekly newsletter.

Academia
Northern Institutions Dominate International Development Research: So What?
Publications in international development studies journals are overwhelmingly by scholars based in the Global North. Our analysis of top development journals revealed that researchers based in the South contributed to only just over a quarter of the publications. Northern scholars tend to publish in higher-ranked journals, are more often cited, and are over-represented in editorial teams. And there is no evidence of improvement in this bias, despite growth in collaborative publications: the prevalence of northern-based authors has increased in absolute terms. The number of researchers originating from the Global South working in policy institutions in the North may be increasing, but this “brain drain” helps perpetuate the dominance of Northern institutions.
(...)
Concerted action from governments and donor organisations to support locally-based researchers is essential. Without it, the current power and influence structure will endure. In our analysis of participation in policy formulation, we found that Southern research systems provide few incentives to participate in policy debates, and little space for evidence use. Research training pays little attention to dissemination and communication. Difficulties in publishing research limit the visibility of researchers from the Global South, in turn reducing our opportunities to participate in local and international policy debates.
Veronica Amarante, Nisha Arunatilake, Ronelle Burger, Arjan de Haan, Ana-Lucia Kassouf & Lucas Ronconi for fp2p; 'decolonization' #globaldev publishing is more than 'adding Southern researchers', publishing more 'stuff' or running workshops...
Anthropologists as Spies
It is time for US anthropologists to examine the political consequences of their history and take a hard, thoughtful look at Boas’s complaint and the implications implicit in the association’s refusal to condemn secret research and to re-enact sanctions against anthropologists engaging in espionage.
David Price for the Nation; originally published in 2000 (yes, they had the Internet in those days...) this article has made the rounds again
What we were reading 5 years ago
(Link review 225, 24 March 2017)

Academic conferences as neoliberal commodities (book review)
The unwillingness of many associations to embrace the digital age and increase diversity is a core problem of most conferences: They want the income from participant fees, they want as many people as possible on site to create fake exclusivity by switching off the wireless network.
When pointing fingers at university managers or research funders in the neoliberal age we should not forget the role of associations that fuel unsustainable and uncreative gatherings. If Donald Nicolson’s book can achieve one thing, then hopefully more discussions on the purpose of academic conferences across disciplines, privileges and inequalities!
It's interesting to read my review of Donald's book from the point of a global pandemic coming to an 'end'...

Social Media Star Has A 'Crazy Idea' To Help Somalia
A viral social media campaign to fight the looming famine in Somalia has already raised more than $2 million. The goal is to send 60 tons of food to the country. But as the campaign has unfolded, it's become clear that it's still a work in progress.
Natalie Jacewicz for NPR Goats & Soda with one of those viral campaigns...

Remember Pakistan's 'Harriet Tubman' who got $2.3 million from Humans of New York? This is what she has done with it
To our shock, the location that was hitherto being touted as a "well-built" and "safe" haven for recovered bonded labourers was little more than a desolate ground that we calculated to be a mere 8 kanals (barely one-tenth the size promised), with one incomplete disheveled building on 4 marla (1089 sq ft) consisting of three rooms with no utilities.
The gloomy building conveyed a miserable picture. The walls have not yet been painted, while the stairs are still rugged, making it impossible for any living being to inhabit it in its present state, let alone laborers who have been liberated from bondage.
Hamza Rao for Daily Pakistan with another example of the complexities of implementing viral campaigns & promises...

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