Links & Contents I Liked 466

Hi all,

This is the final weekly #globaldev post for 2022. A special section on 'localization' & articles on EA, greenwashing & countries like Haiti or DRC in crisis all resonate with another year coming to its close between relief, groundhog day vibes & some hopes that 2023 can only be better... 
Regular blogging will resume in mid-January - Happy holidays & a great start into 2023!

Tobias

My quotes of the week
Currently there is no way to comprehensively quantify how much funding reaches local actors, let alone how much reaches key sub-groups, for example women-led and women’s rights organisations and refugee-led organisations. This is partly because there is no agreed definition for these different categories. (Tracking humanitarian funding to local actors: what we’ve learnt)

For some countries, port construction or expansion may enhance the implementation of industrial policy frameworks by reducing transport costs and inefficiencies. Yet this is not a given. Moreover, construction of multiple ports in the same region attempting to gain the status of transhipment or gateway “hubs” means that some will certainly fall short. There will be severe political and economic consequences.

(Africa’s ports race is hyped as ‘development’ but also creates pathways for plunder)

Development news
Trafficking victim wins landmark victory in Salvation Army data case
The 25-year-old British woman, who cannot be identified, has received compensation from the Home Office and secured a change in the department’s policy relating to the way the Salvation Army, which has a victim care contract with the Home Office to look after and support trafficking victims, shares confidential information about these victims with the Home Office.
(...)
The problem came to light after it emerged that a central database used by Salvation Army support workers to store confidential data about trafficking victims, including information about any legal case they might be pursuing against the Home Office and other information relating to victims’ personal circumstances that is not relevant to their trafficking claim, was being shared with the Home Office.
Diane Taylor for the Guardian; both Salvation Army & Home Office downplay the incident which highlights some very serious data protection issues-especially if charities work hand-in-hand with the government.

The top 10 crises the world can’t ignore in 2023
Heading into 2023, countries across the globe continue to struggle with decades-long conflicts, economic turmoil, and the devastating effects of climate change. The guardrails that once prevented such crises from spiraling out of control—including peace treaties, humanitarian aid, and accountability for violations of international law—have been weakened or dismantled.
I like International Rescue Committee's language better than 'forgotten crises' or similar wording.

Nobel prize winner criticises western ‘neglect’ and urges action over DRC violence
“We can see very clearly that this politics of double standards is undermining the credibility of the international, multilateral system. I’m sorry to say that this sort of flexible humanism is frustrating young Africans,” said Mukwege, comparing the huge international response to the war in Ukraine with the muted references to the “totally forgotten” DRC.
In fact, he warned, western diplomatic inertia was already boosting support among many young Africans for the old foe of western imperialism. “At protests now they are flying the Russian flag,” he said. “Now, I do not think that Russia is a solution … but there really is a lack of trust among Africans at the moment in the policies pursued by many European countries.”
Lizzy Davies for the Guardian on another 'forgotten crisis' & the broader global shifts in international politics.
Symposium: Have US military programs made African countries less safe?
There is no question that the United States needs to re-evaluate its overly militaristic approach to Africa, and to cease its support for endless war in places like Somalia, where drone strikes and other counter-terrorism strategies have backfired, leading to mass displacement and an unknown number of civilian casualties.
(...)
In short, we must also scrutinize the rhetorical championing of “democracy” and “civil society,” lest it serve as a cover for new forms of repression.
Responsible Statecraft features several experts that take a good, hard look at US foreign policy & practice vis-a-vis Africa.

Africa’s ports race is hyped as ‘development’ but also creates pathways for plunder
Not all port projects are harmful for growth and development. The developmental effects of ports and other maritime infrastructure are complex and varied. They depend on local factors and whether projects are tied to overarching plans.
For some countries, port construction or expansion may enhance the implementation of industrial policy frameworks by reducing transport costs and inefficiencies. Yet this is not a given. Moreover, construction of multiple ports in the same region attempting to gain the status of transhipment or gateway “hubs” means that some will certainly fall short. There will be severe political and economic consequences.
Ricardo Reboredo & Elisa Gambino for the Conversation add more nuances to the infrastructure debates around ports.

Haiti offers glaring example of aid sector’s growing urban response challenges
But if any intervention is to work, Hsu said the international community’s entire outlook on Haiti must change. “That’s the bottom line,” she said. "People want interventions that are in solidarity, and if it is an armed intervention, it’s not one that is in foreign interests, not one that goes into Citè Soleil that kills indiscriminately," she added, referring to allegations made against MINUSTAH.
Hsu said the people she had spoken – the motorbike taxi drivers, domestic workers, factory workers, soccer coaches, teachers, farmers, the unemployed, who make up the streets of Port-au-Prince and are living through the unrelenting battles – “all just want yonti souf, a moment to breathe.”
Jessica Alexander & Jess DiPierro Obert for the New Humanitarian with a report from Port-au-Prince & the complexities of #globaldev in such contested, violent urban spaces.

Samantha Power takes localization global
Together, the donors committed “to foster locally sustained change that is tied to each country's unique context” and agreed to undertake three major steps: Shift and share power to ensure local actors have ownership, work to channel high quality funding as directly as possible to local
Amruta Byatnal for DevEx kicks off this little special section on 'localization'!

USAID, Norad and partners to empower local development partners to promote long-term sustainability and impact on community
To those ends, we will pursue the following actions to foster locally sustained change that is tied to each country’s unique context. These actions build on previous donor commitments to advance locally led development, humanitarian, and peacebuilding efforts, including those outlined in the Paris Declaration (2005), the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (2011), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2015), the Grand Bargain (2016), the Grand Bargain 2.0 (2021), the OECD-DAC Recommendation on Enabling Civil Society in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Assistance (2021), and the Locally Led Adaptation Principles (2021).
Norwegian NORAD with an official statement that starts off by listing all the failed initiatives on 'localization' from the last 15+ years...
Tracking humanitarian funding to local actors: what we’ve learnt
Currently there is no way to comprehensively quantify how much funding reaches local actors, let alone how much reaches key sub-groups, for example women-led and women’s rights organisations and refugee-led organisations. This is partly because there is no agreed definition for these different categories. However, this type of data is critical to better understand the accessibility and reach of international funding. For example, in our Türkiye research, we found that 82% of total funding for the Syrian refugee response in 2019 and 2020 was ultimately channelled to local and national actors (LNAs) (mainly indirectly) – however, just 5% was provided to local or national non-governmental organisations (L/NNGOs) and less than 0.2% reached women’s organisations or refugee-led organisations.
Fran Girling-Morris, Suzanna Nelson-Pollard & Carina Chicet for Development Initiatives on how difficult it actually is to measure 'localization' of donor funding.
An overview of Australia’s aid program procurement
Two clear conclusions can be drawn. First, a remarkably high share of Australian aid contracts goes to Australian-registered companies. And second, the Australian aid contracting market is becoming increasingly dominated by a small group of firms.
Huiyuan Liu's post for the Devpolicy Blog concludes this week's small excursion into the wondrous lands of localization of funding...

5 things I’ve learned about inclusive facilitation for storytelling
While there is no substitute for experience with different storytelling processes, there is also a lot of value in seeing facilitation tasks through different perspectives. This is something that I have really appreciated learning from the participants on the courses — they help me not hold too tightly to my own assumptions about how things should be done. In asking course participants to design and facilitate sessions on specific aspects of the storytelling process, it helps me to be open to different approaches, and get new insights about how to approach tasks that I assume I know how to do.
Joanna Wheeler reflects on facilitating storytelling courses.

Effective altruism is worse than traditional philanthropy in the way it excludes the extreme poor in the global south.
So, for a movement whose remit is to do the most good in the world, and a movement that at least in theory seems more innovative than traditional philanthropy, one would expect EA to use that influence for the maximum benefit of the poor, or to help the world’s extreme poor in ways that traditional philanthropy couldn’t. Sadly, that is not what EA is.
With Anthony Kalulu a rare & much-needed voice from the Global South joins the EA debates!

How we're making disability media, and how you can help
This edition is about how, with your help, we went from an email with a list of links to becoming an online magazine. It's also about the importance of disability media and how it contributes to change.
It so great to see Peter Torres Fremlin's project grow & thrive!

European green finance is paying for deforestation in Indonesia: the case of Michelin
Beyond the actors directly concerned, and beyond the affair’s impact on Indonesian people and biodiversity, our investigation also lifts the veil on the structural problems of the young green-finance movement: opacity of the certification mechanisms, non-binding voluntary commitments, absence of independent audits, and hype for projects that are supposed to be emblematic of a – finally – sustainable economy.
Emanuela Barbiroglio & Stefano Valentino for Voxeurop with an important case study of greenwashing.
Reading corner
Nordic Journal of African Studies-Special issue: Citizenship in Uganda
This special issue showcases four analyses of lived citizenship in Uganda – a country previously known as a donor darling but, recently, better known for its steady slide towards authoritarian rule (...). Individually, the articles draw on and contribute to diverse strands of debate within the field of citizenship studies. As a collection, however, they serve to illustrate a space characterized by three different knowledge interests in development-related research on African societies. A central contention is that the very notion of ‘development-related research’ requires definition; as a field, it is constituted and its boundaries are defined by different actors’ considerations of what is relevant for either the policy, practice, critique, or the very definition of ‘development’. When conducted on societies in Africa, it intersects with African studies and anthropological contributions.
A great open access issue of the Nordic Journal of African Studies!

New International Economic Order 1974-2024
On 8 December 2022, the Progressive International inaugurated a new global process to present, deliberate, and develop proposals for a New International Economic Order fit for the twenty-first century.
Progressive International with a fantastic developing resource on NIEO! Make sure to subscribe for updates!

In other news

Pacific Gambit: Inside the Chinese Communist Party and Triad Push into Palau
The tiny Pacific nation of Palau is a key hotspot in the growing rivalry between China and the West. Organized criminals with links to the Chinese Communist Party are trying to find a way in — and many in the local elite have welcomed them.
Bernadette Carreon, Aubrey Belford & Martin Young for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project with a fascinating investigative long-read from a slightly unusual corner of the planet...

How academics review books (and each other)
However, the history of book reviewing undoubtedly also illustrates that researchers have considered the personal qualities of their peers to be a relevant issue. The fact that book reviewers stress personal qualities could be taken to imply that they perceive research as a profoundly human and by no means impersonal endeavour, which, I think, would be for good reasons. Following this line of thought, one could also take this history of book reviewing as a stimulus to conduct a much-needed, ethical discussion about the question: what personal qualities make for good researchers? That being said, are book reviews the best location for such a debate to take place?
Sjang ten Hagen for LSE Review of Books; I'm always careful with promises for the blog, but I'll try to have more book reviews on the blog again next year!

What we were reading 5 years ago
(Link review 256, 27 October 2017)

A few reflections on the new OECD flagship report on Data for Development
While the OECD report certainly captures important technical aspects and macro policy challenges it fails to provide a politicized vision for digital development cooperation for the next decade and could be another case of too little, too late…
Me on one of those pesky 'flagship reports'...

Emergency sexwork: should NGOs recognize transactional sex as livelihood strategy? by Dorothea Hilhorst
I have difficulty accepting – as the column suggests – that sexwork in the context of humanitarian crises must always be seen as sexual violence. To my mind, humanitarian actors should broaden their view of transactional sex beyond sexual violence and acknowledge that it is an important aspect of livelihoods.There are important reasons why the humanitarian world should be more explicitly concerned with transactional sex. Once it is recognized that transactional sex is often a livelihood strategy, this would also open the way for the provision of services and protection against some of the risks that come with the trade.
Dorothea Hilhorst for the ISS blog with some challenging thoughts on the complexities of sexual encounters in emergency situations-I wonder where the debates are 5 years on?

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