Links & Contents I Liked 458
This week's #globaldev review is a bit like a wedding outfit: We have something serious (crises in Sudan & Ethiopia), something old (10 years of conflict in the Sahel), something new (refugee begging on TikTok), something funny (WFP's resilience matrix), something OMG (Kor's fashion goes WFP) & a few more other topics as well!
My quotes of the week
Featuring bright, bold and eye-catching designs, all proceeds from these covetable new pieces will go to the World Food Programme, the world's largest humanitarian organisation focused on hunger and food security. ‘NYSOMETIMES captured the message of Watch Hunger Stop beautifully,’ says Kors, ‘We’re all connected more than ever, but we still need a reminder that love makes the world go round.’
(Michael Kors and the Spencer Twins launch collection in aid of the World Food Programme)
About 1.4 million children under the age of five are suffering from malnutrition in South Sudan, caught in the grip of widespread flooding and intercommunal conflict, the British charity Save the Children said Friday.France24/AFP with more bad news from South Sudan.
Ethiopia: After Secret U.S. Talks Fail, a Hidden War in Africa Rapidly Escalates
Tigray is the world’s unseen war, a sprawling conflict hidden behind a punishing government siege that has severed communications in the region, locked out reporters and left 5.2 million people in urgent need of food aid. United Nations investigators have called it a war crime.Declan Walsh for the New York Times on the another deteriorating humanitarian crisis.
But in recent weeks the fighting has surged to its most intense level yet — and the secret efforts at peace have given way to raging combat that many fear could quickly expand across the Horn of Africa, destabilizing the region.
While the world’s gaze is largely fixed on the war in Ukraine, the conflict in Tigray is also huge, with three major armed forces, including two of Africa’s largest armies, those of Ethiopia and of Eritrea, battling on multiple fronts across a rugged region twice the size of Switzerland.
Why are Ethiopians Dying in Isaias’ War?
Tens of thousands of young Ethiopians who answered the call to serve in the national army are fighting for Eritrea. As Eritrean long-range artillery pounds Tigrayan positions, Ethiopian soldiers are sent into battle on the orders of Isaias Afwerki. The Eritreans control every aspect of the operation. They have special squads behind the front lines to shoot troops who won’t obey orders. This is how low the Ethiopian government has stooped. It is sending its own troops to serve a foreign country to fight Ethiopians. Many will die. If they occupy any part of Tigray these troops will be ordered to rape, torture and kill civilians.Alex De Waal for the Elephant does not mince words in his op-ed on the war in Ethiopia.
Major economies call for World Bank climate overhaul
Germany has joined the U.S. and other major economies in calling for a “fundamental” overhaul of the World Bank to better address climate change and other global crises.Karl Mathiesen & Zia Weise for Politico (which seems to feature more regularly in the link review) with political foot dragging prior to the annual meeting of Bank & IMF.
German Development Minister Svenja Schulze, a governor of the bank, said Wednesday that the bank's “current model, which is mainly based on demand from borrowing countries, is no longer appropriate in this time of global crises.”
Sahel: 10 Years of Instability. Local, Regional and International Dynamics
The first massacre by the right wing Swedish government announced at a press conference: it confirms that development cooperation will be slashed - bye bye Swedish value based policy! pic.twitter.com/2yh5EHMsfa— Henning Melber (@HenningMelber) October 14, 2022
Ten years after the start of the Malian crisis, political and security instability in the Sahel have changed in scale and nature, and spilled over across national frontiers. The border region between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger has become the new epicentre of insecurity. The comeback of military actors on the political scene, and the support provided by large parts of the population to post-coup military juntas is evidence of poor governance and a severe deterioration in the legitimacy of elected authorities.Giovanni Carbone & Camillo Casola with a new report for ISPI.
TikTok profits from livestreams of families begging
Children are livestreaming on the social media app for hours, pleading for digital gifts with a cash value.Hannah Gelbart, Mamdouh Akbiek & Ziad Al-Qattan for BBC News with a one of those 'everything in this headline is wrong' pieces...
The BBC saw streams earning up to $1,000 (£900) an hour, but found the people in the camps received only a tiny fraction of that.
TikTok said it would take prompt action against "exploitative begging".
The company said this type of content was not allowed on its platform, and it said its commission from digital gifts was significantly less than 70%. But it declined to confirm the exact amount.
Michael Kors and the Spencer Twins launch collection in aid of the World Food Programme
Collaborating with New York and China based artist NYSOMETIMES, Kors’s latest capsule consists of the black ‘LOVE’ tote and co-ordinating ‘FOOD IS LOVE’ pouch. Featuring bright, bold and eye-catching designs, all proceeds from these covetable new pieces will go to the World Food Programme, the world's largest humanitarian organisation focused on hunger and food security. ‘NYSOMETIMES captured the message of Watch Hunger Stop beautifully,’ says Kors, ‘We’re all connected more than ever, but we still need a reminder that love makes the world go round.’Chandler Tregakes for Tatler with the latest example from the fashion-celebrity-do-gooder-industrial complex...
US jump starts IOM leadership election race
If elected, she would be the first woman – like Doreen Bogdan Martin, the newly-elected chief at the ITU and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala appointed to the World Trade Organization last year – to lead the Geneva organisation since it was founded.Kasmira Jefford for Geneva Solutions; framing the IOM leadership race around gender may only partly address the elephant of US/global Northern leadership in the UN system.
Backroom aid: The groups helping behind the scenes
Teaching on Climate Change? Our graphic novella based on social science research across 3 continents and 5 countries is designed to help! It reveals the hidden ways low-income people live with and adapt to Climate Change https://t.co/1VEihEruPT pic.twitter.com/VmFroUzNin— Gemma Sou (@gemmasou) October 14, 2022
Over the years, aid has become more professionalised and funding has become concentrated into a smaller number of organisations. Instead of having small charities with narrow remits, fewer organisations today are handling much wider portfolios. In turn, they have become more reliant on support from outside specialists.Abby Seiff for the New Humanitarian with an interesting insight into H2H organizations & their work.
“These [H2H organisations have] played a really important part in conversations about reform and improvements in the humanitarian system,” Scriven said.
“Often… we talk about system change in terms of… big heavy policy processes. H2H actors provide an important counterpoint to that,” he added. “They’re in the system but at the edge of it, able to demonstrate different [kinds of] change.”
Safeguarding humanitarian organizations from digital threats
#ICYMI Here's our conversation last week on "Countering toxic narratives about grassroots activists", hosted by @CIVICUSalliance & @PartosNL: https://t.co/nDShu1IG3x #globaldev #philanthropy #NGOs #socialgood #aid #socialchange— Jennifer Lentfer (@intldogooder) October 13, 2022
And here's a little thread of what I shared: /1
Even if disinformation and threats of violence against humanitarian personnel are spread online on social media and other digital platforms, their negative impact is felt offline. In places affected by armed conflict, tensions are high, rumors spread easily, and false information falls on fertile ground. For humanitarian organizations to do their job safely, trust of all warring parties and of communities is essential. If the perception of their work changes, fueled by online or offline disinformation, humanitarian personnel can quickly be unable to leave their offices, distribute live-saving assistance, visit detainees, or bring news to people who have lost contact with a family member.Tilman Rodenhäuser, Balthasar Staehlin & Massimo Marelli for Humanitarian Law & Policy on international humanitarian law & digital threats.
What does a Digital ID mean to a refugee’s self-identity?
In terms of what we found, throughout our research, no strong relationship between digital identity in the refugee context and one’s (self) “identity” was recognized. Therefore, we could not draw a decisive conclusion that digital identity does or does not have influence on an affected person’s identity. It varies by context, circumstance and person. And since our interviewees were all responders rather than affected people, our information and understanding are largely third-hand. Clearly there is room for more research on the topic especially if one can engage Digital ID recipients directly.Andrej Verity introduces a new paper he wrote with Zoey Zhang for the Digital Humanitarian Network.
Harnessing the Power of the Quote
While endless analysis has been written about the economic and humanitarian crisis, hearing the perspective of fishermen affected by it makes the story connect to the readers.Tara Todras-Whitehill on the power of quotes & the craft of storytelling.
Of course, well-researched details are essential in storytelling, but knowing when to use quotes may help a story come alive and amplify the message.
In other news
How does human rights pressure work on repressive states? @kcroninfurman’s terrific new book examines how and when international pressure can make governments change course, and how accountability can work through unexpected avenues—and it’s out early! https://t.co/27VGqQYnUH https://t.co/S0lQ8zBoUO— Anjali Dayal 🦒🦒🦒 (@anjalikdayal) October 11, 2022
At the Digital Doorstep-How Customers Use Doorbell Cameras to Manage Delivery Workers
The doorstep has emerged as the new physical locale of consumption — the threshold at which purchased products become personal property. In this transformation, the porch has become a contested space: it is at once private property and, for delivery workers, their workplace. The growing popularity of Ring and other networked doorbell cameras has normalized home and neighborhood surveillance in the name of safety and security. But for delivery drivers, this has meant their work is increasingly surveilled by doorbell cameras and supervised by customers. The result is a collision between the American ideals of private property and the business imperatives of doing a job.Aiha Nguyen & Eve Zelickson for Data & Society with a new report on more pervasive surveillance of American workers.
Is it Ethical to be Friends with Research Participants?
In qualitative research building a rapport and friendships with participants is often presented as a means to gain access and data from research participants. However, as Helen Kara discusses, using friendship in an instrumental way presents serious ethical issues for researchers.Helen Kara for Global Policy on a topic that is as relevant for students & researchers as it is for those in the #globaldev industry conduction research.
Female history and biography writing dominates Baillie Gifford shortlist
A study of the violence of Britain’s empire, Oliver Cromwell’s commonwealth and the present day refugee crisis are among five books by women vying for this year’s £50,000 first prizeSarah Shaffi for the Guardian with more food for your 'to read' pile...
What we were reading 5 years ago
(Link review 248, 1 September 2017)
Reading #Harvey through a #globaldev lens
relevant articles that have started to link Harvey to broader questions of international development and humanitarian aid and that are interesting food for thought in 'our' industry.Me on local disasters & #globaldev implications-perhaps more timely now than 5 years ago...
Documents reveal largest USAID health project in trouble
The supply chain project is implemented by a consortium led by Chemonics International, which has grown to become USAID’s largest implementing partner — in large part because of the Washington, D.C.-based contractor’s surprise takeover of U.S. global health supply chain programs two years ago. The USAID contractor leased a 50,000 square foot office space in Crystal City, Virginia, to help accommodate the new project.Michael Igoe for DevEx on classic beltway banditry that always delivers for shareholders & not so much for 'beneficiaries'...
If you’ve never lived in poverty, stop telling poor people what they should do
No amount of cutting back on luxury spending or driving extra hours for Uber can change the fact that there is literally nowhere in the country where a minimum wage job can support a family, that good union jobs have been in decline for decades, or that housing costs have priced people out of their homes.Hanna Brooks for openDemocracy with another reminder of how things have not gotten better during the last 5 years...