New research on vocationalization in international development studies education

The latest published outcome of my fruitful research and writing partnership with Daniel Esser is a new article in Learning and Teaching where we discuss Countering the risks of vocationalisation in Master's programmes in International Development (gated access). As always, there is also an un-gated pre-print version of the article : We review the ontological and pedagogical origins of International Development graduate education in the context of increasing pressures to 'professionalise' graduate curricula. We apply Giroux's concept of 'vocationalisation' to argue that professionalisation risks undermining the field's intellectual foundations in an elusive quest to equip students with functional rather than intellectual skills. Acknowledging ever-growing competition among graduates for gainful employment in this sector, we argue that instructors of International Development should recommit to the field's reflective tradition by creating spaces

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Hi all, New week, new links as the momentum for the start of the new term builds up. Development news features Oxfam latest trends on closing civil society spaces; the complexities of (not) paying UN interns; the challenges of sustainable reconstruction in Haiti; how artists can enrich non-profit management; RCTs & the nuances if evidence; what happens when a Kenyan politician leaves his office; Digital lives ask whether Google algorithms can change election results? Has hacking be gentrified and/or appropriated? Are women getting empowered through book clubs? Academia on the ‘war on learning’ and the question whether there is a ‘Netflix effect’ for training and teaching. Enjoy! New from aidnography Does the ADB have a problem with women? Any high-level development meeting that features contemporary buzzwords like ‘innovative’, ‘inclusive’ or ‘resilient’ in its description feels a bit strange when the participants comprise a very homogeneous group in terms of sex, gender, a

Does the ADB have a problem with women?

When I tweeted this picture from the ADB's 7th International Policy Advisory Group meeting yesterday, I did not anticipate that it quickly became one of my most re-tweeted Tweets in a long time: . @JeffDSachs & 24 (!) men discuss #post2015 *INCLUSIVE* #globaldev with @ADB_HQ #allmalepanel — Tobias Denskus (@aidnography) August 16, 2015 Even Jeffrey Sachs felt compelled to join the conversation after my colleague Raul Pacheco-Vega took up the tweet: . @aidnography @JeffDSachs @ADB_HQ and THAT is just one of the many reasons I am skeptical of SDGs. Who is involved in setting them? — Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega (@raulpacheco) August 16, 2015 @raulpacheco @aidnography @ADB_HQ Women fighting for SDGs hardest (e.g. UN Women) for gender equality, access of girls to education & more. — Jeffrey D. Sachs (@JeffDSachs) August 16, 2015 @JeffDSachs @aidnography @ADB_HQ I am really curious to know why was the panel you were on

Links & Contents Liked 153

Hi all, Another week is coming to its end and you are looking for Friday afternoon and weekend reading recommendations! Development news features inherent contradictions of the SDGs in a capitalist world, inherent contradictions of CSR & companies paying for lobbying, inherent contradictions of global privatized disaster rescue, inherent contradictions of global volunteering organizations that want experts without paying them (properly)-and more. Digital lives takes a look at the bottom of the global data pyramid and summit where privileged tech people discuss Effective Altruism. And in Academia a ed-tech pioneer is tired of the disruptor narrative and if you are part of the increasing metrified academy you may want to read why academia is not like baseball! Enjoy! New from aidnography On Facebook’s false promises of a “poor man’s internet” Guest post by Hani Morsi: Beyond the praiseworthy premise of, it is no humanitarian mission. is Fa

On Facebook’s false promises of a “poor man’s internet”

What started as a quick discussion on Facebook has turned into a great guest post by Hani Morsi. Hani is currently writing up his PhD at IDS Sussex on the virtual political sphere in post-Mubarak Egypt, blogs on ICT4D and digital development and can be contacted on Twitter as well. In his post he reminds us once again that critical development engagement is much needed as global digital corporations quite literally spread their wings into the developing world and will shape the Internet and digital communication much faster and more thoroughly as researchers, activists or policy-makers are able to respond. Last Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook’s founder and CEO) announced the construction of Aquila, an unmanned aircraft that will be a linchpin to Facebook’s project. The technology behind Aquila is rather impressive : It has a wingspan comparable to that of a jetliner yet weighs less than a car, and uses lasers to beam internet access down to off-the-grid communi

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Hi all, After a short break we are getting ready for the new term and the blog activity will continue pretty much as normal in August. Development news looks at growing paradox of large organizations seemingly willing to change, but being caught in traditional structures; innovative ideas for humanitarian research; reflections on journalism and communication around the ‘Instagram Migrant’; emerging trends in think tank and research communications; the power of immersions & more; Digital Lives on how Internet virality westernizes the world; college students’ pressure to maintain happy Instagram profiles; gender & facebook in Pakistan & the complexities of self-tracking require better academic research . Enjoy! New from aidnography Barbara Bush, the rise of global health & white privilege Besides the name and super-well-connected family, do we need 33 year-old white, Yale-educated ‘leaders’ in global public health like Barbara Bush-and what does that say about the in

Barbara Bush, the rise of global health & white privilege

As difficult as it is to engage with Nick Kristof’s latest column A Millennial Named Bush on George Bush ’ s daughter Barbara Bush without getting a little bit sick in your mouth (we are still talking about the Bush family...), there is quite an interesting statement in the text that triggered some broader reflections on global public health, international development and increasing elite professionalization: Her (Barbara Bush’s) passion for service certainly echoes widely in her generation. Dr. Paul Farmer, the globe-trotting co-founder of Partners in Health, emailed me from Rwanda (where he was working with Global Health Corps fellows) to say that when he was going into medical school there was little interest in global health. Now young people are passionate about getting involved. “Looks from my vantage point that the ‘me generation’ (mine) has been replaced by a millennial generation much more focused on others,” he wrote. Particularly Kristof ’s point about the millennial