Links & Contents I Liked 474
This week's link review is almost a double-feature: New #globaldev readings, but also a longer section on gender & feminism right in time for next week's International Women's Day! 'Women at leisure lie at the heart of feminist liberation' really spoke to me as credo for approaching 8 March! Enjoy!
As much as a third of the heavily cut UK overseas aid budget is being spent on housing refugees in the UK (Up to a third of overseas aid budget used for housing refugees in UK, MPs report)
Up to a third of overseas aid budget used for housing refugees in UK, MPs report
As much as a third of the heavily cut UK overseas aid budget is being spent on housing refugees in the UK, the international development select committee says in a report today.Patrick Wintour for the Guardian; from pre-Brexit DfID to this...the rapid, spectacular & unprecedented decline of UK #global is, among many other things, a warning of how flimsy support for global issues is in some donor countries...
Describing the trend as unsustainable and unprecedented, the committee also finds UK aid spending per refugee has almost tripled, increasing from £6,700 in 2019 to £21,700 in 2021, according to the most recent three years of figures.
The select committee says it has been a political choice by the government to spend so much of the aid budget on refugees in the UK, and insists it is not required to do so by international rules defining legitimate aid.
Christian Aid claims it was subject to act of ‘lawfare’ by pro-Israel group
A leading NGO has broken its silence on a bruising legal battle with a pro-Israeli advocacy group, describing it as an act of “lawfare” aimed at inflicting financial and reputational damage on organisations that do charitable work with Palestinians.Lizzy Davies for the Guardian on strategic lawsuits to make NGO #globaldev work more difficult in Palestine.
Christian Aid, the UK-based charity, was forced to spend about £700,000 defending itself against accusations that it had provided “material support” to terrorists, chief executive Patrick Watt has said.
The complaint, filed in 2017 by the New York-based Zionist Advocacy Center (TZAC), dragged on for more than five years before being thrown out by the US courts in September.
“I don’t believe … this case was brought against us in the belief that it had legs. I think it was brought against us in an effort to throw sand in the wheels of our advocacy and to make working on IOPT [Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory] very expensive.”
Alone and Exploited, Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the U.S.
The factory was full of underage workers like Carolina, who had crossed the Southern border by themselves and were now spending late hours bent over hazardous machinery, in violation of child labor laws. At nearby plants, other children were tending giant ovens to make Chewy and Nature Valley granola bars and packing bags of Lucky Charms and Cheetos — all of them working for the processing giant Hearthside Food Solutions, which would ship these products around the country.Hannah Dreier for the New York Times; more than 10 years ago Arianna Huffington coined the term 'Third World America' in her book. Since then, discussions on both the term 'Third World' & the comparison between 'North' & 'South' have become more nuanced, but at the core there is an issue of how 'underdeveloped' & exploitative so many parts of the US economy + society are.
Unprotected by Labor Law, Child Farmworkers Risk Health and Lives
There is more to this story. A group of often-overlooked US child workers – those working in agriculture – regularly risk their health and lives in dangerous jobs. But their backbreaking work rarely violates child labor laws because they lack basic protections given to other child workers.Margaret Wurth for Human Rights Watch adds to the New York Times story with an important reminder of the legal frameworks in place that already enable dangerous working conditions for children.
Child farmworkers often work 10 or 12 hours a day in grueling conditions, exposed to pesticides, extreme heat, heavy machinery, and other dangers. Many start working at age 12 or 13 to help their families make ends meet.
Agriculture is the deadliest sector for child workers in the US; thousands are injured on farms every year.
Dow said it was recycling our shoes. We found them at an Indonesian flea market
None of the 11 pairs of footwear donated by Reuters were turned into exercise paths or kids’ parks in Singapore.Joe Brock, Yuddy Cahya Budiman & Joseph Campbell for Reuters; tl:dr a global company lies about their CSR/environmental impact/recycling because not doing it saves a few pennies...I'm actually getting tired of those stories, even if I appreciate the investigation into that topic.
Instead, nearly all the tagged shoes ended up in the hands of Yok Impex Pte Ltd, a Singaporean second-hand goods exporter, according to the trackers and that exporter’s logistics manager. The manager said his firm had been hired by a waste management company involved in the recycling program to retrieve shoes from the donation bins for delivery to that company’s local warehouse.
But that’s not what happened to the shoes donated by Reuters. Ten pairs moved first from the donation bins to the exporter’s facility, then on to neighboring Indonesia, in some cases traveling hundreds of miles to different corners of the vast archipelago, the location trackers showed.
Toxic waste dumping in the Gulf of Guinea amounts to environmental racism
Drawing on examples from Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Ghana, our paper argues that toxic waste dumping in the Gulf of Guinea amounts to environmental racism. This is a term that’s used to describe a form of systemic racism – manifested through policies or practices – whereby communities of colour are disproportionately burdened with health hazards through policies and practices that force them to live in proximity to sources of toxic waste.Ifesinachi Okafor-Yarwood & Ibukun J. Adewumi for Yahoo! News/the Conversation with more environmental issues, the focus of last week's link review.
Other victims of environmental racism are Native Americans. In 2002 the US Commission for Racial Justice found that about half of this population live in areas with uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.
The dumping of toxic waste into Africa, while deliberately concealing its true content, shows that companies know it is ethically wrong.
Cattle, not coca, drive deforestation of the Amazon in Colombia – report
As the government has engaged in a game of whack-a-mole with coca farmers, the real driver of deforestation, cattle farming, has been allowed to swallow up vast swathes of land, the authors argue.Luke Taylor for the Guardian on research from Colombia that highlight links between local/indigenous poverty & the global capitalism of demand for meat.
Flaws in Colombian land regulation have incentivised the conversion of biodiverse tropical rainforests into barren pastures.
Landless farmers often clear a few hectares of rainforest and sell them illegally to members of criminal organisations who then join up multiple small lots, transforming them into vast swathes of lifeless, arid pasture.
Context Is Key: Why Moderation Is Needed at the Climate-Conflict Nexus
- Where other political risk factors are absent, climate change in itself does not lead to violent conflict.Halvard Buhaug for 49security on the limits of climate adaptation in conflict resolution & peacebuilding.
- In conflict situations, sensitivity to the political context is crucial when applying a ‘climate lens’ on programming toward security risk reduction.
- In its National Security Strategy, Germany should focus on ending violence and extremism – which is the most effective means of reducing populations’ vulnerability to climate change impacts.
Jimmy Carter took on the awful Guinea worm when no one else would — and he triumphed
When that scourge does come to an end, it will become one of Carter's signature achievements – an extraordinary accomplishment that reflects a simple yet profound tenet of his personal philosophy: "To try to help one another instead of being willing to go to war with one another."Jason Beaubien & Sam Whitehead for NPR Goats & Soda on Jimmy Carter's #globaldev legacy.
He recognized the difficulty of living up to this philosophy: "Getting along with one another and treating each other as equals is one of the hardest things to do on earth." And it's one of the things that Carter did best.
If Malpass had to go, will Banga offer a brighter future for the World Bank?
A more fundamental question, I think, is whether debt-based instruments are the right pathway for a green transition in the Global South. But official development assistance is hovering around just 0.33% of donor national income, and reports indicating effective declines by some key donors are always appearing. Plus, there has been no progress on measures to fund global redistribution (like the Tobin Tax), so progressive leaders in the Global South just end up calling for more lending, albeit concessional.Susan Engel for DevPolicy Blog and...
The World Bank African Countries Need
Overall, African countries should push for a World Bank that is open to learning from the past, cultivating a tolerance for big and transformative ideas that may seem risky, embracing goal-oriented multidisciplinary, and collecting more and better data to facilitate an accurate understanding of the state of the world....Ken Opalo share interesting reflections on the future of the World Bank beyond the immediate question of which American will lead it.
Afghanistan: Déjà vu all over again
Other lessons from the year 2000 include:Norah Niland for United Against Inhumanity shares some interesting reflections on working with women in Afghanistan based on lessons from the first Taleban reign in the early 2000s.
* persist with patient, low-key engagement while avoiding megaphone diplomacy. This means not setting “red lines” or giving ultimatums, in private or in public, to the Taliban. It also means eschewing a hectoring approach or indulging in point-scoring in public or in bilateral negotiations;
* negotiators should not expect, nor request, an official reversal of repugnant Edicts;
* proceed in a “duck and weave” fashion to enable interaction with local authorities; and
* be aware that strong working relationships are essential, at the local and regional level.
Overall, this means being a “principled pragmatist”. No less important is the need to invest in a two-way communication strategy both within and beyond the humanitarian arena so that all concerned stakeholders are focussed on measures that help save lives and build a foothold for those in need to emerge from a hand-to-mouth existence.
Do You Feel Safe? A discussion about feminist approaches to security
We attempt to show that feminists from the Global North try to be inclusive, inviting feminists from the Global South to collaborate, but that the CEE region is somewhere in between, as many scholars have pointed out, including Slovak scholars. Although there have been long-term efforts of some scholars calling for going beyond such concepts, they keep recurring, and there has been a lot of debate on post-socialism and the “in-betweenness” of our “non-region”. With voices missing from Central and Eastern Europe, there is also a lack of certain topics and experiences, for example, of Russian imperialism, which is a part of our region’s collective memory but has not been included in feminist security studies.Zuzana Maďarová, Weronika Grzebalska & Míla O’Sullivan for Heinrich Böll Stiftung Czech Republic discuss various gender aspects of security; it's well worth reading the entire discussion!
In this mapping we also discovered there is a lack of academic focus on Southern European topics in feminist security studies. There are all these centres of excellence in the UK and the Nordic countries, and their locations strongly influence what is actually being researched.
How Autocrats Instrumentalize Women’s Rights
A week to go til we hit the annual corporate calamity that is also known as #InternationalWomensDay2023 - if you are planning to participate in this branding bunfight here are some handy tips to survive until you have to do another 24 hours of performative feminism next year: ->— Sophie Walker (@SophieRunning) March 1, 2023
Reforms to advance women’s rights reflect political calculations on the part of the autocrat. Domestically, granting women greater equality and political representation can increase women’s support for the regime, co-opt the women’s movement, and may even be used as a wedge to peel support away from more conservative opposition movements.Daniela Donno for Democracy Paradox shares some of her fascinating research!
International incentives have also intensified—a point that helps explain the rise in gender reforms in dictatorships in recent decades. Since the end of the Cold War, advancing women’s rights has provided a way to align with (Western) democratic norms without having to engage in more politically costly forms of liberalization. In other words, as pressure for democracy increased, autocrats sought ways to signal adherence with Western values without introducing competitive elections.
Women at leisure lie at the heart of feminist liberation
I started taking photographs and making videos of women and girls who did not have the privilege of taking out time for themselves. Doing this for the past four years, I have felt a world of unbridled joy open up to me. I have had a front-row seat to women’s unguarded moments. A young woman plonked upside down on a tree with her long hair left loose; a mother, who lost her daughter, filling journals with words to process her grief; a mother and daughter chortling excitedly while playing a maths game of their devising; a herder sitting by herself in the woods; a group of nuns enjoying the waves at a beach; a mother sleeping on a bench at Jantar Mantar with her child by her side; a woman hiding in the arms of her lover in a public garden; a wife enjoying getting her hair dyed with henna by her husband; a group of young women grooving to Bhojpuri songs in the dark.Surabhi Yadav for Vogue India provides a must-read for International Women's Day next week!
#GlobalJustice: Learning and activism through social media
Conversations, sign posting and opportunity for reflexivity all reflects the growing conversation around informal spaces for learning in the everyday as emancipatory educational sites for change. This is not to say that young people should be exclusively learning about global justice issues through social media, but to recognise that they are being exposed to such topics online. The power in social media for understanding global injustices is through accounts of lived-experience, connecting the learner more intimately with the topic and slicing through mainstream knowledge sources. For better or for worse, as educators we must acknowledge the role social media is playing in shaping understandings of global injustice and adapt our pedagogical approaches to both embrace and equip students with skills to navigate the ambivalent nature of social media.Madeleine Le Bourdon for EADI Blog on young people, social media & #globaldev learning.
Canada in the Caribbean, Caribbean International Service Bureau, 1971
“Canada in the Caribbean” ties all of the other pieces together. Drawing on Canadian white papers, policy documents, the financial press, and political journals, the CISB authors provide the historical context for understanding how Canada’s Caribbean interests developed. And they show precisely what those interests are – be they in money, mining, or militarism. As Canada embarks on another imperial mission in Haiti, the CISB’s essay provides a useful primer on Canadian colonialism in the Caribbean. And it is a reminder that there is neither innocence nor benevolence behind Canada’s actions.Black Agenda Report curates a 50+-year old essay.
The English-speaking Caribbean may not be that wealthy but in terms of International power-politics and economics, the area is also strategic. Canada’s involvement in the Caribbean is therefore not altruistic, but economic, and not necessarily in the best interests of the Caribbean people, and her role is therefore not compatible with the building of a Just Society at home and abroad.
BOND with a great new resource!
In other news
The momfluencers helping hundreds of pregnant Russian women move to Argentina
Regardless of their reasons, there’s one thing that all pregnant Russian women pouring into Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza Airport need: advice on getting around Argentina generally, and ensuring a safe pregnancy and delivery specifically. Social media is often their first port of call.Facundo Iglesia & Lucía Cholakian Herrera for Rest of World on the growing digital economy around Russian moms in Argentina.
The perks for Argentina’s young Russian momfluencers go beyond the usual benefits of being an online celebrity. By providing Russian content to their audience of new arrivals in a faraway land, these influencers are fast becoming this community’s leading lights. Even with her modest following, Pepeliaeva said she has convinced and helped over 100 families to make the move — they comprise approximately 30% of her client base.
This content also drives a lucrative business. Influencers sell how-to booklets and monetize their content via niche ads catering to the twin challenges of migration and baby-care products. Online advice often translates into real-life paid events, like influencer Any Gonchar’s recent master class on lactation for pregnant and lactating Russian moms in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires.
Getting a PhD without wanting to be a professor: reflections on a fun but sometimes awkward career path
I’ve had a number of masters students and junior colleagues ask recently about the idea of doing a PhD without the explicit aim of going into the academy and becoming a professor. I’ve gotten the question “how and why did you do this?” enough times in the last few months that I thought it’d be good to write down the advice, insights, and experiences that come up in these discussions for others to see. The questioners envision jobs in government, places like the United Nations and World Bank, or other types of public and private sector organizations where research skills and deep thematic knowledge are useful. I enjoy answering these questions because I too am a ‘weird’ PhD – someone who pursued a doctorCharles Martin-Shields on his 'alt-ac' career in #globaldev; complements my own recent post on pursuing a PhD as industry skills training well!
What we were reading 5 years ago
(Link review 264, 5 January 2018)
My development blogging & communication review 2017
Development blogging has become part of narrative writing for those who work in, study or care about international aid.The 2011-me in my annual #globaldev review from 2017.
We all want to succeed, but we’ve also got to be realistic about what is happening’: an ethnographic study of relationships in trial oversight and their impact
Recent developments in trial design and conduct have been accompanied by changes in roles and relationships between trial oversight groups. Recognising and respecting the value of differing priorities among those involved in running trials is key to successful relationships between committees, funders and sponsors. Clarity regarding appropriate lines of communication, roles and accountability is needed. We present 10 evidence-based recommendations to inform updates to international trial guidance, particularly the Medical Research Council guidelines.Anne Daykin, Lucy E. Selman et al. with an open access article in Trials. This is also an interesting discussion for the #globaldev community on how qualitative, ethnographic insights can improve trials and large experiential studies.
From Blogging to empowering girls, this Ugandan woman is changing her world
Africa On The Blog was started 5 years ago, It was an idea that I had and other people in the diaspora wanted. I actually thought it would only engage the women in the diaspora to talk about their countries, experiences, and stories but the thing took a life of it’s own. *laughs*, So We ended up getting many people who wanted to be contributors from allover Africa including Men.This is Uganda talks to Ida Horner who among many other great projects runs Africa On The Blog!
some of the contributors we had were lecturers at universities who started sending their students to us as a resource, it’s pretty much started a life of it’s own.