Drones for peace and development?

Two recent news items related to unarmed aerial vehicles (UAV) in the context of security and development caught my eyes: First, the UN announced that they are looking into using UAVs to gather information in the DR Congo ( UN wants to use drones in DR Congo conflict ), although the AFP-piece is much more nuanced than the catchy headline suggests. And today I came across another piece reporting that Google’s Global Impact Award will be funding a pilot project of the WWF to use ‘sophisticated radio-controlled devices like hobbyists use’ in helping to ‘stop wildlife crimes’, in particular rhino poachers in a variety of places in Asia and Africa. T he UN is explicitly talking about ‘drones for monitoring’ and the WWF has even started a website about their ‘ conservation drones ’ with the catchy tag-line ‘now everyone can drone’. But this is not simply about semantics. Taken at face value, these developments look like an innovative use of technology for a greater good, potentially savi

Links & Contents I Liked 54

H ello all! There are no signs of a pre-holiday slowdown when it comes to interesting stuff on development and academia! If you haven't done yet, I suggest my interview with Kate Flynn on European aid in Cyprus as an addition to your reading list. Brazilian engagement in Mozambique, and almost too detailed ironic take on 'Radi-Aid' ; plus new research on how human rights NGOs can tangibly influence policy-making. There's also a nice '2.0' section data journalism in Africa and incubators . In the academic section more on the eternal quest of who should get a PhD, why and how and an interesting example that science and advocacy don't mix well... Enjoy! New on aidnography A consultant speaks out on the donor economy in Cyprus-Interview with Kate Flynn My interview with Kate Flynn on speaking out as a development consultant on European aid in Cyprus, the power of traditional news media & the challenges for critical academics in the UK. Development Aid agen

A consultant speaks out on the donor economy in Cyprus-Interview with Kate Flynn

My i nterview with Kate Flynn o n speaking out as a development consultant on European aid in Cyprus, the pow er of traditional news media & the challenges for critical academics in the UK. A few weeks ago, I came across a critical article on E U aid in Cyprus ( European aid: sleepy island in an aid cash row ) and how my colleague Kate Flynn spoke out about her work as a consultant. She was also featured in an interesting follow-up article with a newspaper in Cyprus ( Academics question point of EU funding for peace ). It all starte d with her report for the European Commission I recently caught up with Kate on Skype for a short interview to discuss some of the broader issues surrounding her public ‘whistle-blowing’ on the 'unco ordinated donor economy' on the island. TD: For many people who know about the aid industry your report wasn’t really ground-breaking. But I kept wondering why we don’t read these articles more often? Why am I still being surprised if an aca

Links & Contents I Liked 53

Hello all, This week's links focus is on a slightly broader range of development-related topics from fight ing censorship t o unpaid care-giving, a nother new development professional network, Canada's policy shift to 'mining for pea ce an d prosperity' (actua l title of the policy document may be different), foreign policy lobbying in the U.S. , a slightly unsatisfying TedX talk on listening, how the Avon model is re inv ented in devel oping countries , the burning question of what consultant s do (' fifty percent of the job is nodding your head at whatever’s being said, thirty percent of it is just sort of looking good, and the other twenty percent is raising an objection but then if you meet resistance, then dropping it'). ...and L-O-V-E ;)! Enjoy! New on aidnography Book review: The Golden Fleece-Manipulation & Independence in Humanitarian Action Development We Fight Censorship (WeFC) is a Reporters Without Borders project tha

The Golden Fleece (book review)

I firmly believe that in our fast-paced development communication world of blog posts, TedX talks and nightly Twitter discussions and despite crisis calls from traditional publishers, books will continue to play an important role in reflecting on and learning about development. In many ways, The Golden Fleece : Manipulation and Independence in Humanitarian Action is a very good example of what’s right about today’s academic publishing industry. There are two main reasons why I thoroughly enjoyed the book: First, the chapters and case studies come with a detailed historical framework – something that is all too often overlooked when making an argument for something ‘new’ or different or the latest approach on how to ‘solve’ a development-related problem. Second, the book is well-edited – which is a tricky thing to achieve when you have a collection of 12 chapters and which quite a few books do not manage as they end up as published conference proceedings. But let’s look at the conte

Links & Contents I Liked 52

H ello all, As a ground-breaking Thanksgiving change to the link review I have reversed the order this we ek and start with interesting insights from Academia before moving on to Anthropology and finally Development ! It is worth the scrolling as there are many interesting nugge ts on learning st yles, the curious case of the academic job market, transformational leader, peer coaching , social entrepreneurism s bli nd spots, great book reviews and insights from the epic Twitter conversation between @JeffDSachs and the rest of the twitterin g development research uni verse ;)! Enjoy! Tap Into the Surprising Benefits of Gratitude Researchers affirm that gratitude can also boost our mental health and well-being. They found that people who kept notes on what they’re thankful for have reported higher levels of positive emotions, more joy and pleasure, more happiness and optimism. They felt more alert, alive, and awake than others who did not practice gratitude. Notably, people who are