Is platform capitalism really the future of the humanitarian sector?

I read Platforming - what can NGOs learn from AirBnB and Amazon? by Paula Gil Baizan, World Vision ’s Global Humanitarian Director for cash based programs with interest-but also some astonishment. I disagree with a lot of her arguments and the general sense that (I)NGOs and other humanitarian actors should turn into entities similar to the giants of platform capitalism. First and foremost, I find it quite astonishing that a senior manager of an INGO does not even hint at the hidden cost, exploitation and side effects that platform capitalism comes with. It is a bit more complicated than ‘ Amazon and AirB’n’B are good with data’. From the, shall we say diplomatically , difficult conditions in Amazon ’s warehouses and its broader corporate culture to the bigger issue of precarious employment (e.g. Deliveroo in the UK ) or the challenges AirB’n ’ B is increasingly posing on urban rental markets and related service industries (e.g. in New York , Barcelona or Berlin ), a picture emer

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Hi all, I spent the last three days at a great conference ! But I also managed to post a new book review and submit my link review on time-I'm definitely digitally exhausted right now... 24m-high @unicef warehouse, fully automated in #Copenhagen , great excursion as part of #2017HHLCONF — Tobias Denskus (@aidnography) June 9, 2017 Development news from Yemen, UK, Ethiopia, Syria, Bangladesh & Canada-plus much more #globaldev stuff! Our digital lives with Western 'poverty hero' narratives, investors in Kenya & calling out big data BS. Publications on humanitarian challenges & impact of counter-terrorism measures on NGOs. Academia: Academics 'out-dangering' each other; decolonising development knowledge & the dreaded 'Should'... Enjoy! New from aidnography Kenneth Warren and the Great Neglected Diseases of Mankind Programme (book review) From my point of view the book was certainly an unexpecte

Kenneth Warren and the Great Neglected Diseases of Mankind Programme (book review)

I stumbled across Conrad Keating’s biography of Ken Warren, a tropical medicine and philanthropic pioneer at the Rockefeller Foundation , by chance and was immediately intrigued. Kenneth Warren and the Great Neglected Diseases of Mankind Programme-The Transformation of Geographical Medicine in the US and Beyond covers many interesting aspects of my research interest in (auto)biographies and historical accounts of and from seminal figures in the context of global development. It also tells us a lot about the academic, research and international aid industries from the 1950s until his death in 1996 and invites the reader to reflect about all the changes that have happened-and the stability of some discourses that surround us today. Warren, ‘a scientific investigator ahead of his time’ (p.7) pioneered research on tropical diseases at the interface of medical and what we today what call ‘public health’ research and as program manager at the Rockefeller Foundation he was instrumental i

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Hi all, We are currently examining and discussing about 20 excellent MA thesis projects which is always a great way to wrap up the teaching term! I wish I had a bit more time for blogging these days, but at least there are some great readings to explore this Friday! Development news: Is the World Bank in trouble? Collecting data in India ; Humanitarians at the WEF; Sri Lankan peacekeeping scandal; new film on the ‘madness’ of war in Sri Lanka ; bad health clinics hurt developing countries; would Haiti be better off without aid? A rare insight into Eritrea ’s political leadership; Timorese migrant workers in Northern Ireland; Digital India is no place for women; the world’s most watched soap; the boy & the starfish-a tale about #globaldev; alternatives to growth; the pdf graveyard; long-read on photography & conflict; the privatization of US armed forces; Bono visits an old pal. Our digital lives: Creating a ‘social enterprise’-it’s complicated; precarity as freedom i

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Hi all, This is actually blog post #502 ! Wow…and it’s actually still one of the fun parts of the work week :) This week features a lot of international organizations-and mostly it’s not good news… But my quote of the week comes from Clelia O. Rodríguez and it addresses many issues both in #globaldev and #highered: The corridors of the hallways in the institution where I currently work embodies this faux-solidarity in posters about conferences, colloquiums, and trips in the Global South or about the Global South that cost an arm and a leg. As long as you have money to pay for your airfare, hotel, meals and transportation, you too could add two lines in the CV and speak about the new social movement and their radical strategies to dismantle the system. You too can participate in academic dialogues about poverty and labor rights as you pass by an undocumented cleaner who will make your bed while you go to the main conference room to talk about her struggles. Development news: The debate