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Hi all,

This week's newsletter is a bit shorter, but I still want to maintain a space where we can read about other news-from the 'wild west' of humanitarian frontline data security, to the impact of the pandemic on women in Zambia, rethinking philanthropy in Canada & a village in Bangladesh that has become a global culinary YouTube sensation!

Development news
How Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will worsen global hunger
“Thirdly, there are war-stricken areas and countries, like Yemen, eastern Africa, the north of Mozambique, Mali, and Myanmar,” he said. “Here, the combination of violence, hunger, and little or no possibilities to intervene with humanitarian help will be disastrous.”
There could also be longer-term impacts on agricultural productivity due to a lack of fertilisers, warned IFPRI’s Laborde.
Thin Lei Win for the New Humanitarian on the looming food crisis puzzle of which the Russian invasion will be one big piece.
Bitter Brew: Pandemic Spurs Unsafe Abortions
Chikondi was three months pregnant with a baby she could not afford. The 29-year-old lives in Rufunsa, a small village east of Lusaka, the capital, amid an expanse of maize fields and mud homes with grass-thatched roofs. Her boyfriend of three years was unemployed and not ready to be a father. She had long supported her girls with an assortment of farming jobs, such as preparing fields and planting crops, but the coronavirus pandemic had made even those scarce.
Prudence Phiri for Global Press Journal on a global health crisis in Zambia that is exemplary of the fall-out of the pandemic especially on younger people and women.

Africa faces tough job not to become world's plastic 'dustbin'
From Antananarivo to Dakar via Nairobi and Conakry, African cities are scarred by huge landfills where plastic waste is measured in the thousands of tonnes.
The dumps are smelly and dangerous, releasing smoke and toxic particles. They are also a place where impoverished men, women and children pick through the filth to find enough to survive.
Blown by the wind or swept downstream in rivers, plastic waste pollutes the sea, forests and fields, threatening wildlife -- and eventually humans too, because microscopic particles enter the food chain.
Stephane Barbier for AFP on the problem of plastic waste & its impact on many countries in Africa.

A world of cameras: how sustainable is it?
Embedded cameras are democratising access to photography. This was demonstrated in a striking National Geographic picture of nomadic Kyrgyz herders in a remote part of Afghanistan with no cellular signal, who owned mobile phones for the sole purpose of taking photos. Though smartphone ownership is still much more common among the young, the wealthy and the well-educated in lower-and-middle-income countries, billions of people who until recently had no means of documenting and digitally sharing what matters to them, can now do so.
Yet the enormous growth in the consumption of cameras and the wider electronics they are embedded in raises questions of the costs to the environment, particularly in lower-and-middle-income countries. To get the full picture, we evaluated the global value chain, from raw material extraction through to how consumers buy, make use of, and dispose of, their devices.
Philip Mader & Harriet Woodcock for IDS with interesting research that approaches the 'everybody has a smart phone' conundrum from the perspective of built-in camera technology.

iSpeak Monthly March 2022
To adequately conceive the multifarious and intertwined challenges dealt indigenous groups and women as a result of narrowly conceived development interventions thus, one has to view social problems resulting in particular policy choices regarding development, the environment and culture as justice questions, proper. By so doing, we will be able to analyse the confluence between distributive, cultural and political factors whose overlapping and mutually reinforcing apparatus contribute to undermining the dignity of marginal groups such as indigenous communities and women. For instance, in their contribution to Climate Justice Central, Susan Nakacwa and Faith Lumonya, argue that, “the missing link in ongoing climate actions is the nonrecognition that climate change is a social issue. Climate action must be linked to the social justice struggle and center those who consistently remains (sic) invisible in the world.”
Phillip Santos' piece on 'Africa's Development Conundrum'; the iSpeak newsletter has a 'WhatsApp-friendly' format & I felt a bit old when I first opened it and thought 'that's a strange pdf file'...

‘It’s like the wild west’: Data security in frontline aid
It’s like the wild west. And if people assume that because there is a policy, that that policy is best practice and practicable and actionable in the field, then they have no idea.
Whether it’s privacy policies or data security policies, I’d say 95 percent of the policies I’ve looked at absolutely don’t translate to the field.
And that’s corroborated by the conversations and the surveys with aid workers themselves who say: “Policies are nice to have, but they don’t help us to do our job. And in many cases, they hinder us from doing our jobs, if we stuck to the letter of them. And therefore we find ways to work around them.”
Olivia Williams in an interview with the New Humanitarian continues the important debate around data, security & privacy in #globaldev.
Rethinking Philanthropy: Emerging paradigms of social justice
A transformation of Canada’s philanthropy is urgent in light of the eroding paradigms of the moral hierarchy of wealth. To enable a genuine shift toward social justice approaches, philanthropic leaders will need to address the colonial legacy of the sector and its repercussions on existing racial and class divides and the ongoing oppression of Indigenous Peoples across the country and around the world. To do so, past forms of saviourism, in which historically disadvantaged countries and communities are seen as helpless actors waiting to be saved, will need to be dismantled. The shift in mindset is from saving “the other” (whomever that other might be) and, instead, recognizing the responsibility to contribute to a more equitable and sustainable society. This is the thesis FrĂ©dĂ©ric Gros outlines in his book Disobey, insisting on a “non-delegable responsibility” of engaging in a collective care for the world. As Gros argues, abandoning this reponsibility would be the ultimate self-abandonment.
Gloria Novovic for the Philanthropist Journal with an excellent review of the current debates that are shaping (North American/Canadian) philanthropy!
Our digital lives
How a YouTube channel is transforming a remote village in Bangladesh
Over the last four years, the channel has adopted a rustic, practical visual style; it uploads about eight videos a month and has a cumulative 1.3 billion views. The eating videos have no “umms,” “ahhs,” or slurping noises to impress upon the audience an orgasmic food experience, typical of travel-cooking shows. Khan says that authenticity is the cornerstone of the channel’s success. In a video uploaded in March 2021, ten Bengali women dressed in pink squat on an open field hacking away at a 234-pound monster tuna. The preparation takes hours: they fillet the tuna, chop it up into hundreds of tiny pieces and hold them up for the camera filming them. The stew is cooked over a wood fire on a large flat metal pan, the sizzle accompanied by Bengali chatter and the sounds of wind and bird calls. Then, the meal is dished out to over 400 guests seated cross-legged in an open field.
Nilesh Christopher & Faisal Mahmud for Rest of World with a good news story about digital lives!

Round-up: OA Articles Published by Global South Authors (28 Feb. 2022)
This is a round-up of open access materials produced by authors based in the Global South (GS) and other geographic areas that are less well-represented in the domain of scholarly forced migration literature. Generally, articles are included if either the lead author or at least half of the co-authors are based in the GS. These references are organized by type of open access. The OA items herein were previously referenced on this blog as of 1 February 2022.
Forced Migration Current Awareness with some great readings-open access & with contributions from scholars from the Global South!

The missing link of science in policy – 1M scientists and 100M hours could be part of the answer
If one million scientists (approximately 10% of the world’s active science population in public service) committed two hours per week to science engagement with and for society (about 5% of their working time), this would create approximately 100 million hours/year dedicated to achieving science that engages meaningfully with policy and global decision makers. Those hours could catalyse a global butterfly effect that could carry into the future.
Ruth Morgan for frontiers; publishing this during the UK highered strikes is perhaps a bit in poor taste, but perhaps not entirely unsurprising for a senior manager with a title of 'Interdisciplinarity Entrepreneurship'. First, why this assumption that science-policy interactions need 100 million more hours of content, meeting, engagement? What are scientists doing right now...exactly many, if not most, are already engaging in meaningful dialogues. Second, please spare me any 'about 5% of their working time' calculations. Most people in academia already work more than 100% and most institutions won't reduce workloads in a meaningful way-so that's 5% on top of everything else. Third, a sentence like this almost makes me physically sick because of the neoliberal higher ed plastic speak: 'The academy will be richer, more current, and more embedded in policy if it has members who are skilled communicators and engagers, alongside other members with skills in entrepreneurship, winning research funding, engaging teaching, and management leadership'. Pay proper salaries, allocate decent workloads, ease the burden for research funding and all those hours of meaningful dialogue will happen.

What we were reading 5 years ago
(Link review 227, 7 April 2017)

How Diabetes Got To Be The No. 1 Killer In Mexico
Rising rates of obesity combined with a genetic predisposition for Type 2 diabetes has caused a slow steady rise in the condition in Mexico over the last 40 years. Now roughly 14 percent of adults in this country of 120 million are living with what can be a devastating and even fatal health condition. Diabetes poses an increasing burden on the nation's hospitals and clinics. The surge in diabetes threatens the very stability of Mexico's public health care system, according to new reports.
Jason Beaubien for NPR Goats & Soda on the 'silent epidemic' that is affecting more & more countries in the Global South.

With great power comes great responsibility: crowdsourcing raises methodological and ethical questions for academia
Indeed, the great draw of crowdsourcing is its ability to draw on large numbers of individuals. Because of the complexities of managing huge numbers of persons, crowdsourcing reduces them to one faceless crowd. Instead of having to deal with each individual member, a researcher’s interaction is with the crowd itself; this is the essence of what crowdsourcing allows. This complexity-reducing mechanism is seen as the great benefit of crowdsourcing for business, yet becomes inherently problematic when applied to research, as it contradicts the basic idea that we control who participates in our studies, either as part of our sample or as part of our team.
Isabell Stamm & Lina Eklund for LSE Impact of Social Science on large-n research & the dangers of complexity reduction.


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