ICT4D after Snowden

From the Snowden leaks to the ‘ deep state ’ -why the surveillance state is an issue for development. Edward Snowden ( Maybe the Snowden-NSA-surveillance debate does not have a direct and obvious link to ICT4D or development debates. In fact, I do not recall reading many comments in the development blogosphere that explicitly link these two issues. The absence of a broader debate may have partly to do with the overall fatigue and fatalism that Snowden’s leaks and the subsequent reporting seem to incur, but partly also with the depoliticized nature of large parts of the ICT4D and development community. I believe that our believe in open data, ICT 4 Good , the positive power of the Internet and mobile technology should be shaken by the transatlantic discoveries, rights violations and revelations that once seemed to be confined to conspiracy websites. Nothing suggests that other states, institutions or companies would not foll

Links & Contents I Liked 109

Dear all, There was a simple reason why there was a short hiatus in the link review last week and I wish I could insert some fancy policy-influencing, mind-changing education or undercover field research event here. Truth is, I accidentally deleted the document where I keep my links. I know...maybe next time I will make up something fancy instead ;)! This week features snark on development industry forecasts and celebrity engagement and more serious posts on the limitations of humanitarian aid, the gang war in Colombia, equipment graveyards in low-resource medical systems, complexity thinking 'on the ground', ICT4D in Uganda, storytelling for social change & tips from a novelist on how to be discoverable in the virtual world beyond your written product. Enjoy! New on aidnography Getting ready for #smwcph, Social Media Week in Copenhagen Actually, Social Media Week is wrapping up today, but we had a really good time yesterday at UN City in Copenhagen for Örecomm's Com

Nick Kristof, professors with smart minds and lots of impact are already active outside the policy bubble!

Nick Kristof’s latest New York Times column with the telling title  ‘ Smart Minds, Slim Impact ’ in the print edition about the disappearance of public intellectuals and need for better academic policy advice is being criticized by a few academic colleagues.  Ed Carr’s reply already highlights many of the problematic assumptions around academia, academic writing and the role of ‘the professor’ that Nick Kristof introduces, but there is one issue I feel deserves further attention: The reduction of academic outreach and public engagement to ‘policy advice’. I find Nick Kristof’s approach rather naïve and I cannot honestly believe that he really thinks that ‘better’ policy advice leads to better political decision-making and policies. But let's approach this issue by first looking at changing nature of policy-advice in the field of development, how it collides with increasing demands on ‘impact ’ and the many ways professors already engage to educate students and engage with socie

Getting ready for #smwcph, Social Media Week in Copenhagen

Dear all, The Social Media Week in Copenhagen is about to start and I will be involved in two very interesting and also very different events on Tuesday and Thursday, the 18th and 20th. Since there is a chance that new visitors will stumble across the blog, I want to welcome you warmly by providing some background information on my recent projects, research and teaching to give you a better sense of the content behind the short and condensed presentations.   Social Media and International Development - Communication for Social Change in the Digital Age The abstract does not adequately reflect what Roskilde University researcher Lene Bull Christiansen , start-up entrepreneur Jakob Vahr Svennignsen and me are going to talk about. Essentially, we are introducing our GoComm (#GoComm) initiative for the Öresund region. A recent event in Copenhagen sparked some initial reflections on the challenges of Technology for Development (T4D) that GoComm can hopefully explore in more detai

Links & Contents I Liked 108

Dear all, We had a great two-day seminar in Malmö last Friday and Saturday and it was fantastic that a many ComDev students participated in lively debates on-site, online and very often in-between. In some ways, I am glad that this great seminar interfered with the weekly link review. So just treat it as starting point into a new week with some 'fresh' links added over the weekend. They finally made the satirical cartoon 'There You Go' into a movie; more on the state of development policy and practice from a U.S. foreign policy perspective as well as from Haiti, the Philippines & DR Congo-time for a 'boring development manifesto'?; critical reflection on HRW as part of the U.S. foreign policy think tank industry; better volontourism in Cambodia; better engagement of white feminists and good reads for aspiring humanitarians. In Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology goes open access and Academia is partially and literally, on 'organisational bullshit' to

Links & Contents I Liked 107

Dear all, This week's review is slightly belated again, but I spent an interesting day in Copenhagen yesterday and focused my energy 'offline'. As always, some new resources, a great discussion on Swedish colonialism, an important reminder why politics still, always matter in aid and me disagreeing about the power of personal stories in development. I also disagree with a very positive assessment of civil society peace making, with the 'giants of online education' and lastly with the Internal Studies Association's silly idea to ban journal editors from blogging. But other than that I'm actually in a happy weekend zone ;)! Enjoy! New on aidnography Tech4Rural, box thinking & reflections on innovative ideas meeting development challenges I participated in a very interesting and in many ways insightful event in Copenhagen yesterday, organized by colleagues from the Technical University of Denmark, DTU. This was a modest event aiming at bringing together te

Tech4Rural, box thinking & reflections on innovative ideas meeting development challenges

Thanks to Jacob ’s and Jonas ’ invitation I participated in a very interesting and in many ways insightful event in Copenhagen yesterday, organized by colleagues from the Technical University of Denmark, DTU . This was a modest event aiming at bringing together technological knowledge, entrepreneurial ideas and development expertise. As an Örecomm member and project member of the GoComm project where our combined development, communication and media expertise will meet the real world outside academia in the Öresund region, we will be involved in more of these event in the future. Together with my colleagues Lene and Jacob we will be talking more about the project in our forthcoming talk at the Social Media Week in Copenhagen. As an academic participant-observer I got some very interesting first insights into some of the broader challenges when innovation, technological ideas, business cases and ‘development’ meet.  Given the audience of primarily younge