Should the voices of senior consultants feature more prominently in public debates on international development?

It has probably happened to you before as well: Every so often I receive a short facebook message or email by a senior development consultant – women and men with probably 15, often 20 or more years of paid professional employment inside the ‘aid industry’ – they basically started before it was even called an ‘industry’! The messages are usually short, sometimes straight from ‘the field’ (i.e. really uncomfortable, dangerous and complex locations ) and often along the lines of ‘little do you/that researcher/this journalist really know about organization X or the crisis in region Y’. But with very few exceptions, these voices rarely make into the development blogosphere , let alone find their way into virtual, classroom or policy discussions. The proverbial ‘I will write a book about my time in the industry once I have retired’ approach only works for very few and even if they manage to write that book, the distance of a few years between what happened in, say, Rwanda and the publica

Links & Contents I Liked 127

Hi all, It's Friday and time for some recommended readings! New publications, development news with a peace & conflict focus, digital lives with Firec hat, traveling chef Anthony Bourdain and V ice news ' missing Chinese wall between content and mar keting (?); an open access issue of Anthropology Matters and the question of how Oxford's PPE degree fosters elite group -think. Enjoy! New from aidnography Celebrity development bullshit bingo-Victoria Beckham UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador appointment speech edition I went to Cape Town and I was so touched by the women that I met. I felt inspired and I came home and I knew that I had to do something. I didn’t know what I had to do, but I knew I had to do something. Victoria Beckham ticks basically all the boxes of how not to communicate development as a celebrity ambassador... The development-digital lives-academia tweet of the week (via Brian Gaensler) : No women winning your prestigious fellowships? Here are some

Celebrity development bullshit bingo-Victoria Beckham UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador appointment speech edition

Nobody said the work and life of a communication for development researcher would be easy! Therefore, I conducted painful field research by transcribing a 1:40 minute video recording of Victoria Beckham's appointment press conference as a new UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador.  As it is also Friday afternoon I invite you to use her template for a round of development bullshit bingo! I already underlined key words and terms-so go ahead and indulge in a very bad example of celebrity savior complex discourse! I am a passionate supporter of women . I want to support women . I want to empower women and I believe that everybody has the right to a healthy life. I’m a mother , I’m a woman. I want to do whatever it is I can do to lend my voice , raise awareness . This is something I feel really passionately about. I recently visited South Africa…I was so… touched …(you went to Cape Town?)…I went to Cape Town and I was so touched by the women that I met. I felt inspired and I c

Links & Contents I Liked 126 - blog post #300!

Hello all, A note on the 300th blog post Wow! Blog post no. time flies! Before we move to another comprehensive link review, I want to take a moment to thank you, dear readers, fellow bloggers, students & random people of the Internet, for an amazing virtual time! In some ways, this has been the most rewarding research project I have undertaken so far and at the same time, it does not feel like a research project at has become a reflection and learning space-and, more importantly, a cherished alternative space that provides some balance to the formal writing aspects of academia-from peer-reviewed articles to proposals, from student feedback to meeting notes; I am fortunate that blogging is part of my job and that is has influenced publications, teaching and my engagement with the digital development community. Again, thank you for reading, sharing, doing great things and discovering gems in the wide ocean of the virtual world on which Aidnography's little

Is paying 7,500 pounds for an ebook the future of Open Access?

I came across two examples recently that left me with in an uneasy, confused state as to where open access publishing in academia is heading. First, one colleague shared his experience from publishing a special journal issue open access with one of the big academic publishers. In the end, the funder of the project that produced the articles, a major European foundation, paid around 10,000 Euros to ensure that all the articles are open access. It is a relevant, good journal, but not a super-prestigious, super-high-impact factor one. Is it worth 10,000 Euros to make pdfs available on the publisher’s website? Second, another colleague just signed a deal with another big mainstream academic publisher: Her university pays 7,500 pounds for an open access ebook version of the publication-the publisher still has the right to sell a (discounted) printed copy of the book and to not pay any royalties. Her European university has a special open access fund and was willing to pay for the ebook wit

Links & Contents I Liked 125

Hello all, Between the beginning of a new semester that gained momentum a bit too quickly and our forthcoming Voice & Matter international Communication for Development conference, this week's link edition has more of a snack size-but that may actually be quite nice for some weekend reading suggestions. Development news focuses on issues around 'non-governmental organizations'-from foreign influence in U.S. think tanks to the NGO-ization of resistance and simple tips for community engagement. Our digital lives features neat overviews over big data & development and a curated collection of key debates around 'Internet'. And Academia & Anthropology features alternative development studies readings, business ethnography insights and a thorough critique of voluntourism in the contemporary neoliberal context. Enjoy! New from aidnography The UN’s technocratic answer to the ‘data revolution’ In the end, the UN seems to have chosen a technocratic route-not en

Voice & Matter Festival 2014: Welcome to the cross-border C4D & ICT4D extravaganza!

As the deadline for registration is approaching fast, I wanted to share the announcement for our Glocal conference on Communication for Development with you. Örecomm's fourth bi-national conference, jointly organized by colleagues from Roskilde and Malmö Universities, features a very diverse program of keynote speeches, policy panels, academic presentations and documentary film screenings. All the details can be found on the Voice & Matter website . As we are trying to connect with our global friends and partners the conference will be live-streamed and recorded as part of the Glocal Classroom spirit that brings together academic partners from four continents.  As difficult as it is to do justice to the fantastic range of keynote speakers and panelists or highlight additional events such as the participatory video workshop (which is already fully booked...) or the screening of Gringo Trails , I would like to draw your attention to the panels which address various topi